Michael Cohen, 52, the lawyer and reputed fixer for Donald Trump over two decades at the Trump Organization, is heading to jail for up to 44 months for guilty pleas in a case filed by U.S. Attorneys in the Southern District of New York, according to the sentencing memo. (See Below)
Cohen has been cooperating with federal investigators months after the April raid by federal agents of his office and a hotel room where he was living. In all, he met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team seven times to divulge information on Trump.
Mueller has been investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign, and Trump himself or members of his family cooperated in the effort.
Cohen’s attorneys revealed in their own sentencing memo last week that their client sat for seven interviews with Mueller’s team, according to The HuffingtonPost.
Cohen was deeply enmeshed in the Trump Organization and reportedly was involved in international real estate deals in Russia. He also frequently bullied and threatening journalists with legal action for pursuing stories about Trump.
Cohen pleaded guilty to two criminal counts related to paying women to keep quiet about alleged sexual affairs with Trump.
Cohen told a Manhattan court in August that, at Trump’s direction, he had paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in hush money through a shell company during the 2016 election campaign.
Mueller, who has wide experience as a federal prosecutor, is reportedly conducting a “mob-style” roll-up investigation of Trump and his family. The process involves charging associates and low-level functionaries, who agree to provide information on higher ups, eventually leading to prosecution of the mob boss.
So far, Mueller has extracted guilty pleas from Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, George Papadopoulos, a former Trump foreign affairs campaign advisor, Richard Pinedo, who sold bank accounts to Russians meddling in U.S. elections and Alex Van Der ZWann, a Dutch lawyer who lied to investigators about his ties to Rick Gates.
Up until now, Gates, a former senior Trump campaign advisor and close associate of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, has been Mueller’s biggest catch. Gates became the fifth person to plead guilty and is cooperating with prosecutors.
But Cohen tops them all. Although the lawyer and reputed “fixer” once said he’d take a bullet for Trump, he’s laid bare all he knows about the Trump organization.
In a taste of what Cohen knows, his veteran Washington lawyer, Lanny Davis, released a tantalizing audio tape recorded by Cohen on the eve of the 2016 election.
Trump can be heard discussing a hush-money payoff to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to silence her about their 10-month affair in 2006-07. During the conversation, Trump clearly can be heard suggesting an all-cash payoff, which raises a host of legal issues.
While most media attention has focused on the salacious payoff discussion, the real value in the tape is its exposure of longtime Trump chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg. Cohen’s comments clearly suggested Weisselberg was involved in the discussion, opening the door for prosecutors to subpoena him.
In fact, Trump’s longtime financial gatekeeper has been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in connection with the U.S. Attorney’s investigation of Cohen in the Southern District of New York.
Both Cohen and Weisselberg were a heartbeat away from Trump during many of his business dealings and activities during the campaign.
In one shocking revelation, Cohen has already said through his lawyer that Trump was aware of the Trump-Tower meeting between Russian agents, his son and others to discuss “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Trump was on Twitter this morning heatedly denying it.
But that is likely just the tip of the iceberg. Trump has a long history of corruption dating back to the early 1970s that defines his identity and his governing style.
Cohen will be sentenced on Dec. 12. This story is breaking. It will be updated. Check back for more details.
SDNY Cohen Sentencing Memo by on Scribd