US prosecutors call for substantial prison term for Cohen, detail Manafort's lies in Russia probe

File photo of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 08, 2018, 08.29 AM (IST)

Federal prosecutors on Friday asked "substantial" prison term for Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer of US President Donald Trump for paying an adult film star hush money on Trump's behalf and evading taxes. 

The prosecutors also revealed alleged lies by another former Trump aide Paul Manafort.

Cohen, who has been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into possible collusion between Russia and Trump's 2016 election campaign, pleaded guilty to financial crimes in August in New York, and to a separate charge of lying to Congress in a case disclosed by Mueller last week.

Prosecutors in both those cases were required to submit separate memos on Cohen's cooperation to US District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan, who will decide Cohen's sentence on December 12, reported Reuters.

Asking the judge to reject Cohen's request he be spared prison term, the New York prosecutors described Cohen in their filing as being motivated by "personal greed" and said he "repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends," the report added.

Prosecutors said his sentence should reflect a "modest" reduction from the four to five years they said federal guidelines would suggest.

Mueller said Cohen had voluntarily provided information about his own and others' conduct on "core topics under investigation" and described the information "credible and consistent with other evidence" they had obtained.

Citing Cohen's cooperation, Mueller suggested the sentence for lying to Congress run concurrently with the sentence in the New York case.

Mueller also revealed the details of alleged lies told by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, during interviews with prosecutors, reported Reuters.

Among other things, prosecutors said Manafort lied about his interactions with a political consultant who had ties to Russian intelligence, and about interactions with Trump administration officials even after Manafort was indicted in late 2017.

"In his interviews with the Special Counsel's Office and the FBI, Manafort told multiple discernible lies - these were not instances of mere memory lapses," Mueller said in the filing, which was requested by a federal judge in Washington after Mueller accused Manafort of breaching his plea deal last month.

Story highlights

Asking the judge to reject Cohen's request he be spared prison term, the New York prosecutors described Cohen in their filing as being motivated by "personal greed"