U.S. attorney recommends jail time for Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen

Author: CBS News
FILE – In this April 11, 2018, file photo, attorney Michael Cohen walks down the sidewalk in New York. Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer who is under investigation by federal prosecutors in New York, said in his Twitter post Sunday, July 1, that he sat down for an interview with ABC News and his “silence is broken.” (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York is recommending a “substantial term of imprisonment” for former personal lawyer to Donald Trump, Michael Cohen. The U.S. attorney submitted a filing in the case on Friday.

According to the filing, for the crimes committed by Cohen, 51 to 63 months is within the sentencing guideline. It referred to Cohen’s crimes as reflecting “extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct.”

His actions, the filing said, “suggest that Cohen relished the status of ultimate fixer – a role that he embraced as recently as May 2018.”

The offenses committed by Cohen, the U.S. attorney said, “reveal a man who knowingly sought to undermine core institutions of our democracy.”

“After cheating the IRS for years, lying to banks and to Congress, and seeking to criminally influence the Presidential election, Cohen’s decision to plead guilty – rather than seek a pardon for his manifold crimes – does not make him a hero,” the filing concluded.

Lawyers for Cohen argued in court papers filed in New York last week that the 52-year-old former personal lawyer for Mr. Trump should not have to serve time in prison for his crimes, citing extensive cooperation with the special counsel and New York investigators.

They pointed out that he has met with Mueller’s team seven times for interviews — even before he pleaded guilty in August to campaign finance and fraud charges — all the way through November.

Cohen entered another guilty plea last week, admitting that he lied to Congress about developing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. He had initially said that the project died in January 2016, before admitting last week that he had continued to pursue it through June 2016. At that point, Mr. Trump had clinched the Republican nomination for the presidency.

During the campaign, Cohen made hush money payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Mr. Trump. He admitted in a Manhattan federal court in August that he had done so at the direction of Mr. Trump.

Cohen has asked that his sentencing take place as scheduled on Dec. 12, so that he can return to providing for his family.

This is a developing story and will be updated

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