Special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York filed sentencing memos for President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Friday. Despite Cohen’s cooperation with the special counsel investigation, prosecutors recommended the disgraced lawyer serve 51 to 63 months in prison.
President Trump’s opponents, who eagerly awaited the memos as #MuellerFriday trended on Twitter for hours ahead of the filings, are likely to be disappointed with their findings. The Southern District linked Trump to Cohen’s payments to women who claimed to have had an affair with the president, concluding, “Cohen himself has now admitted, with respect to both payments, he acted in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1 [Donald Trump].” However, even this implied violation of campaign finance law rings hollow after prosecutors failed to convict ex-Senator John Edwards on a far clearer cut version of this charge in 2012, to say nothing of Trump’s long history of similar payouts to women, making it difficult to prove these were campaign-specific and not just business-as-usual at the Trump Organization.
The special counsel’s sentencing memo for Michael Cohen proved even more disappointing for the collusion crowd. Mueller writes:
The defendant recalled that [a Russian national] repeatedly proposed a meeting between Individual 1 [Donald Trump] and the President of Russia. The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have “phenomenal” impact “not only in political but in a business dimension as well”…. Cohen, however, did not follow up on this invitation.
In other words, some guy told Cohen that Trump and Putin should meet, and Cohen blew him off. After two years of investigations into Russian “collusion,” is this really all they’ve got?
Read the Mueller memo for yourself here.