Former Trump lawyer Cohen asks for no prison time

Mueller might file new charges against Manafort

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman has displayed what he says are two emails from President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer asking for help getting the Trump Tower Moscow project off the ground. He also pleaded guilty in August to paying two women to keep silent about affair allegations to influence the 2016 presidential election "at the direction of the candidate", referring to Trump.

"In fact, Michael had a lengthy substantive conversation with the personal assistant to a Kremlin official following his outreach in January 2016, engaged in additional communications concerning the project as late as June 2016, and kept Client-1 apprised of these communications", the lawyers wrote.

Cohen, who is scheduled for sentencing on December 12, is prepared to continue cooperating in those investigations even after his sentencing - an unusual legal strategy that carries tremendous risk for both Cohen and prosecutors.

In addition to his cooperation with Mueller, Cohen has also assisted in the NY state attorney general's investigation into the Trump Foundation, his lawyers revealed Friday, and has provided documents to the state attorney general in a separate, unidentified probe, too.

Cohen has been cooperating with Robert Mueller's investigation into the ties between Trump and Russian Federation, and his lawyers argued that his cooperation should earn him a sentence of "time-served" as opposed to the potential sentence of five years and three months recommended by federal sentencing guidelines.

Cohen's lawyers said prison would be inappropriate given hardships Cohen faces, including loss of his law license, Internal Revenue Service civil penalties and restitution, his likely inclusion as a defendant in a tax case by New York State, the loss of his consulting firm's business and the cancellation of numerous banking credit card and insurance agreements.

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Michael Cohen's lawyers' memo expressed Cohen's contrition and shame and portrayed him as a man whose personal and professional lives had been shattered. But they wrote that Cohen did so because he knew Trump wanted to "dismiss and minimize the merit" of the special counsel's inquiry, and that he and his aides "were seeking to portray contact with Russian representatives in any form by Client-1, the campaign or the Trump Organization as having effectively terminated before the Iowa caucuses of February 1, 2016". CNN has previously reported that Cohen met with representatives of these offices.

"When I heard his plea included information about keeping Donald Trump's kids up to speed, I have to say - we've heard this before - but I was thinking to myself, "lordy, I hope there are tapes" because we don't know what Michael Cohen has been taping but we may hear more about that in the future", he said.

"Furthermore, in the weeks during which his then-counsel prepared his written response to the Congressional Committees, Michael remained in close and regular contact with White House based-staff and legal counsel to Trump."
"In each case, the conduct was meant to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1's directives".

"In the context of this raw, full-bore attack by the most powerful person in the United States, Michael, formerly a confidante and adviser to Mr. Trump, resolved to cooperate, and voluntarily took the first steps toward doing so even before he was charged", the lawyers wrote.

Prosecutors have not yet filed a pre-sentence submission but have agreed to note Cohen co-operation to the sentencing judge.

"He could have fought the government and continued to hold to the party line, positioning himself perhaps for a pardon or clemency".

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