SDNY Drops Sentencing Memo On Cohen. Here Are 4 Things You Need To Know.


On Friday afternoon, two major memos regarding President Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, dropped. The first concerned the Mueller investigation’s recommended sentencing for Cohen; I’ve analyzed that memo here.

The second concerned the Southern District of New York’s recommended sentencing for Cohen in light of his testimony regarding President Trump’s campaign and payoffs to women including Stormy Daniels.

Here’s what you need to know about the SDNY sentencing memo.

1. They Want To Put Cohen Away For A Long Time. According to the filing, Cohen “committed four distinct federal crimes over a period of several years. He was motivated to do so by personal greed, and repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends.” They refuse to call him a “cooperating witness” and add that he should go to jail for a substantial period of time — they want a sentence that reflects a “modest downward variance” from a period between 51 and 63 months.

2. They’re Going After Cohen For “Illegal Campaign Contributions.” The wages of Stormy Daniels are jail. The SDNY accuses Cohen of having a “campaign email address,” and of advising the campaign. They claim that Cohen “played a central role in two similar schemes to purchase the rights to stories – each from women who claimed to have had an affair with Individual-1 [Trump] – so as to suppress the stories and thereby prevent them from influencing the election.”

3. They’re Going To Go After Trump For Campaign Violations. The SDNY says that Cohen “acted with the intent to influence the 2016 presidential election,” that he coordinated with campaign members, and that he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of Individual-1.” The SDNY is effectively accusing Trump of ordering a violation of campaign finance law. They explain that Cohen coordinated with executives of the Trump Company to pay off the women, and that the Company then came up with a false invoice scheme to reimburse him.

4. Cohen Didn’t Talk To The SDNY About Ancillary Matters. According to the SDNY, “Cohen specifically declined to be debriefed on other uncharged criminal conduct, if any, in his past,” and “further declined to meet with the Office about other areas of investigative interest.”

This sentencing memo suggests that the SDNY is frustrated with Cohen — but that they think they may have Trump on a campaign finance charge related to payments to his former paramours.

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