Federal prosecutors on Friday recommended a “substantial term of imprisonment” for President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, saying his efforts to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller were “overstated,” Fox News informed.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed a sentencing memo as part of its criminal probe and grand jury probe into Cohen’s personal business tradings. Cohen pleaded guilty to several counts of tax and business fraud. He also pleaded guilty to making an excessive campaign contribution.
The memo stated that the range of imprisonment for Cohen and his crimes is 51 to 63 months. It also noted that the court’s Probation Department had recommended a sentence of 42 months, “albeit for different reasons.”
“This range reflects Cohen’s extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct,” prosecutors said in the memo. It added that while Cohen “should receive credit for his assistance” in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, he should still be given a “substantial term of imprisonment, one that reflects a modest downward variance from the applicable guidelines range.”
The filing acknowledged that while Cohen had cooperated with officials and disclosed important information to Mueller’s team, his cooperation was “overstated.”
“To be clear: Cohen does not have a cooperation agreement…and therefore is not properly described as a ‘cooperating witness,’ as that term is commonly used in this District,” the memo read.
The sentencing memo from the Southern District of New York comes just one week after Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about an abandoned Trump real estate project in Moscow as part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates in the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen’s guilty plea in Mueller’s investigation signaled his apparent willingness to cooperate with the special counsel and provide potentially valuable testimony to investigators regarding his relationship with the President and Trump’s actions in exchange for leniency when sentenced to prison—a move Trump himself has blasted in recent days.
Soon after the filing was made public, Trump tweeted that the document, “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”