Lawyers: Cohen should not go to prison
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.
President George H.W. Bush greets American troops in Saudi Arabia weeks before the start of the Persian Gulf war in 1991.