Lawyers: Co­hen should not go to prison

The Bradenton Herald (Sunday) - - Nation & World - BY LARRY NEUMEISTER

NEW YORK

Lawyers for Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s for­mer per­sonal lawyer, Michael Co­hen, say he should be spared prison for crimes he com­mit­ted in an abun­dance of en­thu­si­asm for his ex-boss, and they por­trayed him to a judge as a hero for co­op­er­at­ing in a probe Trump has “reg­u­larly ques­tioned pub­licly and stri­dently.”

The lawyers said in court pa­pers filed in New York late Fri­day that Co­hen, 52, has co­op­er­ated ex­ten­sively with spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller and New York state in­ves­ti­ga­tors who brought a civil law­suit against the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion and in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing Trump.

They cited the fact he met with Mueller’s team in “seven vol­un­tary in­ter­view meet­ings” that be­gan even be­fore he pleaded guilty on Aug. 21 to cam­paign fi­nance and bank frauds, among other charges, and con­tin­ued through late Novem­ber.

He pleaded guilty Thurs­day to ly­ing to Congress, a charge that his lawyers said re­sulted in part from in­for­ma­tion he vol­un­tar­ily pro­vided Mueller’s team in meet­ings gov­erned by a lim­ited-use im­mu­nity agree­ment.

They say he'll con­tinue to co­op­er­ate, though he wants to be sen­tenced as sched­uled on Dec. 12 so he can re­turn to pro­vid­ing for his fam­ily.

Be­sides his co­op­er­a­tion with Mueller, Co­hen has also pro­vided the New

York state at­tor­ney gen­eral’s of­fice with doc­u­ments “con­cern­ing a sep­a­rate open in­quiry,” the lawyers wrote.

Co­hen’s lawyers sought to ad­dress spec­u­la­tion over why their client has not en­tered into a for­mal co­op­er­a­tion agree­ment with pros­e­cu­tors, say­ing Co­hen was con­cerned that such a deal would de­lay his sen­tenc­ing.

The lawyers por­trayed Co­hen as coura­geous for co­op­er­at­ing in Mueller’s probe while the “in­ves­ti­ga­tion – and the ra­tio­nale for its very ex­is­tence – is reg­u­larly ques­tioned pub­licly and stri­dently by the Pres­i­dent of the United States.”

They said Co­hen viewed Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion to be “thor­oughly le­git­i­mate and vi­tal” and added that he “could have fought the gov­ern­ment and con­tin­ued to hold to the party line, po­si­tion­ing him­self per­haps for a par­don or cle­mency.” They said he co­op­er­ated for “him­self, his fam­ily and his coun­try.” Co­hen has been mar­ried for 24 years. He has two chil­dren, ages 23 and 19.

Ge­orge Bush Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary

Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush greets Amer­i­can troops in Saudi Ara­bia weeks be­fore the start of the Per­sian Gulf war in 1991.

Michael Co­hen

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