Cohen can & cant (2)

The Special Counsel referred his investigation of Michael Cohen in part to the Southern District of New York. The Special Counsel entered into a plea agreement with Cohen to one count of false statements to Congress. Both the Special Counsel and the US Attorney for the Southern District filed sentencing memos late yesterday afternoon. I discuss the 38-page sentencing memo filed by the Southern District prosecutors in the adjacent post.

In the case brought by the Special Counsel Cohen copped a plea to one count of making false statements to Congress. The seven-page sentencing memo filed by the Special Counsel in that case is below. Cohen has pleaded guilty to false statements minimizing the involvement of then candidate Trump on the Trump Organization’s “Moscow Project” and the timing of its abandonment.

Cohen “has met with the [Special Counsel Office] on seven occasions, voluntarily provided the SCO with information about his own conduct and that of others on core topics under investigation by the SCO, and committed to continuing to assist the SCO’s investigation. The information he has provided has been credible and consistent with other evidence obtained in the SCO’s ongoing investigation.” The memo sets forth four “significant respects” in which Cohen has assisted the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation (footnotes omitted):

First, the defendant provided information about his own contacts with Russian interests during the campaign and discussions with others in the course of making those contacts. For example, and as described above, the defendant provided a detailed account of his involvement and the involvement of others in the Moscow Project, and also corrected the record concerning his outreach to the Russian government during the week of the United Nations General Assembly. The defendant also provided information about attempts by other Russian nationals to reach the campaign. For example, in or around November 2015, Cohen received the contact information for, and spoke with, a Russian national who claimed to be a “trusted person” in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign “political synergy” and “synergy on a government level.” The defendant recalled that this person repeatedly proposed a meeting between Individual 1 and the President of Russia. The person told Cohen that such a meeting could have a “phenomenal” impact “not only in political but in a business dimension as well,” referring to the Moscow Project, because there is “no bigger warranty in any project than consent of [the President of Russia].” Cohen, however, did not follow up on this invitation.

Second, Cohen provided the SCO 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.

Third, Cohen provided relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017–2018 time period.

Fourth, Cohen described the circumstances of preparing and circulating his response to the congressional inquiries, while continuing to accept responsibility for the false statements contained within it.

What we have here is a sort of preview of coming attractions that seem to me to mask the absence of “collusion,” although the memo’s tact makes it impossible to know.

Mueller Cohen sentencing memo by on Scribd

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