Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE on Friday said President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer Sen. Heller to run for Nevada governor Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen has gone to “significant lengths” to assist his ongoing Russia investigation, including sitting for seven interviews and providing information on a range of issues.
Mueller, in a court filing, deemed Cohen’s information to be “credible and consistent” with other evidence unearthed in the investigation into Russian interference.
He also revealed that Cohen has provided the special counsel “with useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contact with Company executives during the campaign” — an assumed reference to Cohen’s work with the Trump Organization.
Mueller filed the memo in advance of Cohen’s sentencing in New York on Dec. 12. Cohen will be sentenced for eight federal crimes he pleaded guilty to in August as well as the separate charge of lying to Congress that he pleaded guilty to last week in connection with Mueller’s investigation.
As part of the plea deal revealed last Thursday, Cohen agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation, remaking the president’s one-time loyal personal attorney and “fixer” into a key witness as Mueller examines possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
In Friday’s filing, Mueller wrote that Cohen has provided “relevant and truthful information” in lengthy interviews with prosecutors and has committed to continuing to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.
The memo states that Cohen has shared information about his own contacts with Russians during the campaign, including outreach he received from a Russian national in November 2015 claiming to be a “trusted person” within the Kremlin offering “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.”
The individual proposed a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and “Individual 1” – an apparent reference to then-candidate Donald Trump. Prosecutors said Cohen did not follow up on the invitation.
It also says that Cohen has discussed with investigators his contacts with individuals connected to the Trump White House in 2017 and 2018 and that he “described the circumstances of preparing and circulating his response to the congressional inquiries.”
Cohen has admitted to misleading Congress last year about his and Trump’s involvement in now-defunct plans to build a Trump property in Moscow, including lying about the length of time during which the plans were discussed. Prosecutors say Cohen deliberately misled Congress in order to minimize Trump’s links to the proposed project.
A filing from Cohen’s attorneys last week asking that he be spared prison time revealed that he “remained in close and regular contact” with White House staffers and legal counsel at the time he made his false statements to the House and Senate Intelligence committees — suggesting he consulted with Trump’s team about the testimony.
Trump has cast his estranged personal lawyer as a liar willing to tell investigators anything in order to gain a more lenient sentence. On Monday, he tweeted that Cohen should serve a full prison sentence.
Cohen’s attorneys have asked that he be spared jail time, but federal prosecutors in New York firmly pushed back on that in a separate filing Friday. They argued he should serve “substantial” jail time for his serious crimes despite cooperating with ongoing law enforcement probes, including the special counsel investigation.
Mueller on Friday asked the court to allow Cohen to serve any sentence imposed for lying to Congress concurrently with that imposed for his other crimes.