Federal prosecutors filed court documents on Friday that revealed new details about the government’s cooperation with Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, ahead of his sentencing next week.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York submitted a sentencing memo for Cohen recommending a sentence of 42 months.
Cohen, 52, has been cooperating for months with Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, and Cohen’s attorneys revealed in their own sentencing memo last week that their client sat for seven interviews with Mueller’s team.
Cohen worked for the Trump organization for over a decade and spent years as Trump’s go-to fixer, helping negotiate international real estate deals and threatening journalists pursuing stories that would hurt his boss. He became a central figure in the Mueller investigation after the FBI raided his law office, home and hotel room in April this year.
Months after the raid, Cohen pleaded guilty to two criminal counts related to paying women to keep quiet about alleged sexual affairs with Trump. Cohen told a Manhattan court in August that, at Trump’s direction, he had paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money through a shell company during the 2016 election campaign.
Last week, Cohen accepted a plea deal in a separate case and admitted that he’d lied to Congress about the extent of the Trump Organization’s planned real estate development in Moscow. Cohen had told two congressional committees last year that negotiations for a Trump Tower in Moscow ended in January 2016, but court documents revealed that the talks lasted “as late as approximately June 2016” ― while Trump was the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Cohen’s pre-sentencing filings on Friday are part of an intense week in the Mueller probe, and come the same day as the special counsel’s office outlines how Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort broke his plea deal by lying to investigators. On Tuesday, Mueller also filed two memos recommending that former national security adviser Michael Flynn serve no jail time as a result of his extensive cooperation with the probe.
Meanwhile, Trump has continuously tried to distance himself from Cohen and accused his former attorney of lying to protect himself. After Cohen pleaded guilty last week to lying to Congress about the Trump Organization’s planned real estate project in Moscow, Trump called him “weak” and “not a very smart person.”
Cohen will be sentenced in both the U.S. Attorney’s New York case and the special counsel’s case on Dec. 12. Cohen’s lawyers have argued for leniency in recent weeks, saying their client should only be sentenced to time served given his continued cooperation with prosecutors.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.