U.S. Opposes Michael Cohen’s Request for Sentence Reduction

Chris Dolmetsch

(Bloomberg) -- Michael Cohen should serve his full three-year prison sentence for financial fraud and lying to Congress because he didn’t provide “substantial assistance in the investigation or prosecution of others,” U.S. prosecutors told a judge.

In a filing Thursday, prosecutors also said that Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, lied when he met with them and the FBI in January and February, after he was sentenced.

Cohen, 53, asked U.S. District Judge William Pauley last week to take a second look at his sentence, citing his cooperation with the government and his time as “a model inmate” at a federal prison camp in Otisville, New York, where he’s been jailed since May 9.

He asked for a “modest reduction” of the sentence to one year and a day or to allow him to serve the rest of his term at home. He said he spent more than 400 hours assisting Congress and prosecutors before reporting to prison.

But prosecutors responded by saying Cohen only provided information about certain subjects and repeatedly declined to give them more information about the scope of “additional criminal conduct in which he may have engaged or had knowledge.” That’s why they said they declined to enter into a cooperation agreement with him or to recommend a lower sentence.

They said he lied to them about his desire to seek a position in Trump’s administration. Cohen and his surrogates also made many public statements that minimized his acceptance of responsibility or were inconsistent with statements he made during his guilty pleas, prosecutors said.

Cohen was one of Trump’s closest associates, having arranged to cover up Trump’s alleged extramarital affairs, including by paying off a porn star. Trump turned on him after Cohen called him a racist, a conman and a cheat at a congressional hearing in February.

Cohen is due to be released in December 2021, although he could get out sooner if he gets credit for good behavior, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The case is U.S. v. Cohen, 18-cr-00602, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

(Updates with excerpts from filing.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Dolmetsch in Federal Court in Manhattan at cdolmetsch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Glovin at dglovin@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Peter Blumberg

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