‘Deliberate and premeditated’: Michael Cohen’s lies to Congress slammed in Mueller memo
U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has filed a memorandum detailing the conduct of U.S. President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, recommending that his sentence reflect the seriousness of his crime.
“The sentence imposed should reflect the fact that lying to federal investigators has real consequences, especially where the defendant lied to investigators about critical facts, in an investigation of national importance,” the document reads.
The memo was filed by Mueller and his investigative team on Friday evening, and outlined Cohen’s conduct throughout the investigation.
According to the document, Cohen withheld information that was pertinent to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The document calls Cohen’s lies “deliberate and premeditated,” though he later retracted these statements and attempted to assist the investigation.
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The document was filed just moments after federal prosecutors revealed that they would recommend a more “substantial” prison sentence for Cohen than previously stated.
Cohen pleaded guilty in November for lying to Congress about work he did on a Trump real estate deal in Russia.
Trump’s former “fixer” told a federal judge in New York last week that he lied during a congressional investigation into whether Trump’s campaign worked with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election.
Court documents filed at the time stated that Cohen falsely told Congress that the property in Moscow was terminated in January of 2016, that he never agreed to travel to Russia in connection with the Moscow building project and that he did not recall any Russian government response or contact about the project.
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The document filed by Mueller’s team on Friday went on to state however, that since his second meeting with the special counsel in September, Cohen has accepted responsibility for his actions.
“Starting with his second meeting with the SCO in September 2018, the defendant has accepted responsibility not only for his false statements concerning the Moscow Project but also his broader efforts through public statements and testimony before Congress to minimize his role in, and what he knew about, contacts between the Company and Russian interests during the course of the campaign.”
Mueller is also scheduled on Friday to submit details about alleged lies by Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to investigators, in a separate case in a federal court in Washington.
This story is developing and will be updated.
–With a file from Reuters.
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