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Robert Mueller releases sentencing memo on Michael Cohen



Special counsel Robert Mueller released a sentencing memo on Michael Cohen on Friday, calling for the president’s former personal lawyer to receive a sentence that reflects lying to federal investigators has “real consequences.”

“The defendant’s crime was serious, both in terms of the underlying conduct and its effect on multiple government investigations,” the memo states. “The sentence imposed should reflect the fact that lying to federal investigators has real consequences, especially where the defendant lied to investigators about critical facts, in an investigation of national importance.”

But the memo also emphasized Cohen’s efforts to cooperate in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion, and said this should be given “due consideration.”

Mueller’s memo said Cohen provided the special counsel’s office with “useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation.”

Mueller said his office would not “take a position with respect to a particular sentence,” stating Cohen had gone to “significant lengths” to assist in the Russia probe.

Read more: Federal prosecutors say ‘Cohen deceived the voting public’ and ‘knowingly sought to undermine core institutions of our democracy,’ explaining why he deserves prison time

Last week, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about his involvement in a plan to build Trump Tower in Moscow, stating that discussions about the project lasted well into the 2016 presidential campaign season. Cohen also said he discussed the plan with then-candidate Donald Trump and his family members multiple times.

Friday’s filing states that Cohen “chose to accept responsibility for his false statements and admit to his conduct in open court. He also has gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

Mueller’s memo also said Cohen’s false statements to investigators about the ultimately failed real estate deal “obscured the fact that the Moscow Project was a lucrative business opportunity that sought, and likely required, the assistance of the Russian government.”

Read more: Federal prosecutors recommend a 3.5 year sentence for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

The memo also noted the discussions occurred “at a time of sustained efforts by the Russian government to interfere with the US presidential election.”

Trump and Putin met at the APEC Summit in Vietnam in 2017.
Jorge Silva/Reuters

Additionally, the filing noted Cohen “received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a ‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level.'”

Cohen told the special counsel’s team this person “repeatedly” proposed a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the memo, which is a detail that was not previously known publicly.

“The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a ‘phenomenal’ impact ‘not only in political but in a business dimension as well,’ referring to the Moscow Project, because there is ‘no bigger warranty in any project than consent of [the President of Russia],'” the filing states. Cohen did not follow up on the invitation.

A separate memo released by federal prosecutors in New York recommended Cohen receive a sentence of 3.5 years in prison and pay a $100,000 fine. Cohen is set to be sentenced on December 12.

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty pleaded guilty in the Southern District of New York to eight federal crimes, including tax fraud, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations.

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