Lawyers say ex-Trump lawyer Cohen deserves no prison

Roger Stone speaks to the media after appearing before the House intelligence committee during a closed-door hearing on Sept. 26 2017

They added that Cohen knew Trump wanted to "dismiss and minimize the merit" of Muelller III's probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that Trump's public spokespeople were trying to say that any contact with Russian representatives had ceased by February 2016. In addition to admitting he lied to Congress, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges brought on by the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY in August, including tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations relating to hush-money payments made to women alleging affairs with 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.

Michael Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12.

Cohen, a former member of Trump's inner circle who in the past called himself the president's "fixer,", admitted this week that he made false statements to two congressional panels about the Moscow project in a bid to remain consistent with Trump's messaging about Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign.

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.

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The special counsel investigating Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential election may file additional charges against Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman. In his earlier plea deal with federal prosecutors in NY for two campaign finance violations and six counts related to his personal finances, the guidelines call for 46 to 63 months in prison and up to $1 million in fines. The bureau reportedly seized the tapes when it raided Cohen's office earlier this year. At the time, Cohen's then attorney had a joint defense agreement with Trump's legal team.

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, displayed what he said were two emails from Cohen asking for help getting the Trump Tower Moscow project off the ground. The lawyers alleged that as Cohen's own lawyer prepared his responses to congressional committees, Cohen "remained in close and regular contact with White House-based staff and legal counsel to Client-1". "In each case, the conduct was meant to benefit Client-1, in accordance with Client-1's directives". "But, following the execution of search warrants in this case, almost every professional and commercial relationship that he enjoyed, and a number of long-standing friendships, have vanished".

Cohen is portrayed as having the "singular determination and personal conviction" to cooperate with the special counsel, even in the face of a "raw, full-bore attack by the most powerful person in the United States", - a reference to Trump.

Pointing to Trump's attacks on Mueller's probe, Cohen's attorneys noted that he "could have fought the government and continued to hold the party line, positioning himself perhaps for a pardon or clemency", but instead made a decision to cooperate with with investigators.

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

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