Prosecutors seek prison time for Cohen, detail Manafort's alleged lies in

Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to financial crimes in August in New York, and to a separate charge of lying to Congress in a case disclosed by Mueller last week. — Reuters pic

WASHINGTON, Dec 8 — Federal prosecutors yesterday asked a judge to sentence Michael Cohen, US President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, to a “substantial” prison term for paying an adult film star hush money on Trump’s behalf and evading taxes, and detailed alleged lies to investigators by another former Trump aide.

Cohen, who has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 election campaign, pleaded guilty to financial crimes in August in New York, and to a separate charge of lying to Congress in a case disclosed by Mueller last week.

Prosecutors in both those cases were required to submit yesterday separate memos on Cohen’s cooperation to US District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan, who will decide Cohen’s sentence on December 12.

Pressing the judge to reject Cohen’s request he be spared prison, the New York prosecutors described Cohen in their filing as being motivated by “personal greed” and said he “repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends.”

They said Cohen should receive some credit for cooperating with Mueller but noted he had not entered into a cooperation agreement with their office. They said his sentence should reflect a “modest” reduction from the four to five years they said federal guidelines would suggest.

Mueller, on the other hand, said Cohen had voluntarily provided information about his own and others’ conduct on “core topics under investigation” and described the information “credible and consistent with other evidence” they had obtained.

Mueller suggested the sentence for lying to Congress should run concurrently with the sentence in the New York case.

Also yesterday, Mueller disclosed details of alleged lies told by Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, during interviews with prosecutors.

Among other matters, they said Manafort lied about his interactions with a political consultant who had ties to Russian intelligence, and about interactions with Trump administration officials even after Manafort was indicted in late 2017.

“In his interviews with the Special Counsel’s Office and the FBI, Manafort told multiple discernible lies—these were not instances of mere memory lapses,” Mueller said in the filing, which was requested by a federal judge in Washington after Mueller accused Manafort of breaching his plea deal last month. — Reuters