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Cohen talked with Trump about meeting Putin during campaign

09 December 2018, 04:04 | Devin Moran

Cohen talked with Trump about meeting Putin during campaign

Cohen talked with Trump about meeting Putin during campaign

Federal prosecutors in NY are recommending a maximum of four years behind bars for Cohen, because they say his crimes were just that serious.

But prosecutors gave him no such clearance.

Much of the media coverage after Mueller and federal prosecutors in NY released their filing documents, related to the sentencing of Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, focused on possible campaign finance crimes by Cohen and Trump related to payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford) and Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Both the NY sentencing memo and Mueller's memo can be read here.

However, in the crimes to which he pleaded guilty in August, he was motivated "by personal greed and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends".

Mueller is investigating whether there was collusion between Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and Russian Federation, which USA intelligence agencies charge mounted an influence operation to sway the vote to Trump over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

Federal prosecutors said Friday that Cohen deserves a substantial prison sentence despite his cooperation with investigators.




"Just to make it crystal clear, NY federal prosecutors concluded that the President of the United States committed a felony", he tweeted.

Prosecutors urged Pauley to hit Cohen with a $500,000 fine and forfeit his assets in addition to the prison sentence. However, in the almost 40-page memo, NY prosecutors recommended Cohen receive a "substantial" sentence, possibly 3 1/2 years. To promote transparency and prevent wealthy individuals like Cohen from circumventing these limits, Congress prohibited individuals from making expenditures on behalf of and coordinated with candidates.

"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.

Cohen told prosecutors he never followed up on the Putin invitation, though the offer bore echoes of a March 2016 proposal presented by Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who broached to other advisers the idea of a Putin encounter. They said that "reflects Cohen's extensive, deliberate and serious criminal conduct".

The court documents disclosed that Trump hired Cohen in 2007 for $500,000 a year after he ousted the board of a condo that was trying to remove Trump's name from its building. Democrats, and some Republicans, fear Trump may ultimately try to silence Mueller or halt his investigation, though proposed legislation protecting the special counsel has stalled in Congress. In a November tweet, he compared Trump and Nixon, stating simply, "Trump=evil".

"Donald Trump has been implicated directly in campaign finance violations but it is not yet clear what these latest filings have to do with the Russian collusion investigation, if anything", Al Jazeera's correspondent Shihab Rattansi said, speaking from Washington DC.

The report was expected to provide more information on Mueller's probe, but federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson granted the special counsel's request to file the report under seal and ordered a redacted version to be released.



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