Prosecutors Recommend 'Substantial' Prison Time for Michael Cohen Despite His Assistance

Court Deadlines Set Stage for More Russia Probe Details

Prosecutors Recommend Prison for Cohen, Say He Paid off Women on Trump's Behalf

In court filings, federal prosecutors in NY and those working for Special Counsel Robert Mueller made the case for why Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, deserved prison time.

The court filings will close out a week in which Mueller's team for the first time provided some details of the help they've received from former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.

NY prosecutors, however, were far harsher in their assessment of Cohen's character, saying he should get only a modest reduction in an expected prison sentence of about five years. In recent weeks, he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about efforts during the 2016 presidential campaign to get a Trump-branded tower built in Moscow.

They continued: "The fact that Cohen continued to work on the project and discuss it with [Trump] well into the campaign was material to the ongoing congressional and [special counsel] investigations, particularly because it occurred at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the US presidential election".

And this time, unlike his early morning outburst in which the president seemed to be on the verge of panic, Trump confidently proclaimed that the new filings mean he is proven innocent and home free.

Prosecutors urged Pauley to hit Cohen with a $500,000 fine and forfeit his assets in addition to the prison sentence. Russian Federation has denied interfering in the election to help Trump.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Mr Trump, who has railed against the "witch hunt, recently sacked his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and replaced him with an arch critic of the Mueller probe, Matthew Whitaker".

But none of those lies point to Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. Cohen did not follow up on the offer, the filing says.

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In Washington, Mueller also detailed multiple "lies" that former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, 69, told investigators, leading to a termination of his cooperation deal and the likelihood of a stiff prison sentence. Last month Mueller voided Manafort's plea agreement because, they said, he was not telling the truth.

The meeting didn't take place.

Among other things, those documents indicated that prosecutors believe Trump ordered Cohen to pay hush money to two women he'd had affairs with to protect his presidential run.

"While the office agrees that Cohen should receive credit for his assistance in the [special counsel] investigation, that credit should not approximate the credit a traditional cooperating witness would receive, given, among other reasons, Cohen's affirmative decision not to become one", they wrote.

Manhattan prosecutors said in their sentencing filing that Cohen committed campaign-finance crimes "in coordination with and at the direction of Individual 1".

"While Cohen - as his own submission makes clear - already enjoyed a privileged life, his desire for even greater wealth and influence precipitated an extensive course of criminal conduct", they said.

US Attorney Robert Khuzami accused the 52-year-old, who once vowed to take a bullet for the president, of being motivated by "personal greed" and of "repeatedly" using his power and influence for "deceptive ends".

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