Michael Cohen is scheduled to begin a three-year prison sentence on May 6th. He really doesn’t want to. On Thursday, lawyers for President Trump’s former lawyer and fixer sent a letter to congressional Democrats explaining that Cohen has conveniently discovered a “trove” of new documents that his team believes “have significant value to the various congressional oversight and investigation committees.”
Cohen would love to give the documents to Democrats. He really would. But he thinks it’d probably be best if he didn’t go to prison so he could help sort through the 14 million previously seized files he was apparently just recently given access to. “There is no doubt that Mr. Cohen’s testimony, both public and private, has contributed substantially, with documents and other evidence, to triggering additional areas for investigation by law enforcement authorities and the Congress,” his lawyers wrote. “He has done so despite intense personal pressures and stresses he faces for himself and his family. However, with 30 days left before he surrenders to prison, time is no longer a luxury he is capable of.”
The letter asks Democrats to convince federal prosecutors that Cohen’s sentence be “substantially postponed” so that he can be “readily available to Congress and to prosecutors conducting these investigations.” The lawyers also suggested that such cooperation could potentially result Cohen’s sentence being reduced.
Michael Cohen's attorneys just sent a letter to Congress stating that he recently accessed one of his hard drive containing 14 million important files, "which consist of emails, voice recordings, images and attachments from Mr. Cohen's computers and phones." pic.twitter.com/2yDjKHzvUF
— Jason Leopold (@JasonLeopold) April 4, 2019
In December, Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in prison for what Judge William Pauley described as “a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct,” including arranging payments to silence women who allegedly had affairs with Trump. Cohen will also be serving time for lying to Congress about the extent of the Trump Organization’s plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, which were ultimately revealed to have extended well into the 2016 campaign. In February, Cohen testified before multiple congressional committees. During his testimony before the House Oversight Committee, which was made public, Cohen painted a damning picture of the president’s character. “He is a racist. He is a conman. He is a cheat,” Cohen said.
Cohen also explained during his testimony that Trump directed him to make the aforementioned hush money payments prior to the 2016 election, which constituted a violation of federal campaign finance law. Cohen’s lawyers portrayed their client as a victim of the president’s corruption in their letter to congressional Democrats Thursday night, writing that it’s not fair that Cohen is “going to prison for conduct almost all of which was for the benefit of Mr. Trump personally and indeed directed by him.”
The letter was sent only to congressional Democrats, the lawyers write, because they didn’t think Republicans would be “interested.”