Mueller Recommends Cohen Serve Concurrent Sentencing With SDNY Case, Citing “Substantial Cooperation”

Mueller Recommends Cohen Serve Concurrent Sentencing With SDNY Case, Citing “Substantial Cooperation”

December 8, 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed his sentencing recommendation for Michael Cohen, the former attorney to President Trump, in federal court today. The filing was made almost concurrently with a related filing in the Southern District of New York and shows cooperation between the prosecutors of both cases, according to court documents filed by Mueller and U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami.

Mueller’s memorandum states that the government “does not take a position with respect to a particular sentence to be imposed but submits that it is appropriate for any sentence of incarceration to be served concurrently to any sentence imposed by the Court in United States v. Cohen,” citing that the president’s former lawyer “has gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

In the SDNY’s case, Khuzami “respectfully requests that this Court impose a substantial term of imprisonment, one that reflects a modest variance from the applicable Guidelines range.” It is further stated that the court should impose forfeiture worth $500,000 “and a fine,” with applicable U.S. sentencing guidelines listed as imprisonment of 51 to 63 months.

Essentially, Cohen will only receive half the prison time as he won’t have to serve time for each case consecutively.

The SDNY memorandum also suggests that Cohen did not fully cooperate with their investigation.

“While the Office agrees that Cohen should receive credit for his assistance in the SCO 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.”

This conflicts with the Mueller memorandum, which notes that Cohen has “provided, and has committed to continue to provide, relevant and truthful information to the SCO in an effort to assist with the investigation.”

Mueller also noted that Cohen met with investigators seven times, with many of these meetings being long ones, and that his statements “beginning with the second meeting with the SCO have been credible.” Mueller asserts that Cohen’s cooperation has assisted the Special Counsel’s investigation in four key aspects.

Cohen has provided Mueller with detailed information about his contacts with Russian officials during President Trump’s 2016 campaign. He provided a detailed account of the Trump Tower project in Moscow and also spoke with a Russian national who “could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level’” and repeatedly sought to arrange a meeting between “Individual 1” (widely speculated to be President Trump) and Russian President Vladimir Putin. This individual promised Cohen that such a meeting would provide a “phenomenal impact… not only in a political but in a business dimension as well.” However, Cohen claims he never arranged such a meeting.

Mueller added that Cohen provided additional information relevant to the investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russian officials, as well as internal discussion with members of Trump’s administration. However, Mueller does not specify what that information entails, though the filing is notably not redacted.

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