Lawyers for former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asks for no prison time

WASHINGTON DC- NOVEMBER 29 U.S. President Donald Trump walks toward a group of reporters to answer questions while departing the White House

Peskov - who said he never talked to Cohen personally - was also asked to respond to those that struggle to believe a contact with Cohen - then a lawyer for a US presidential candidate - would come to nothing, as he suggested.

Cohen pleaded guilty on Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to develop Trump Tower in Moscow when he told lawmakers they had ended in January 2016 and the extent of his conversations with the president, but he did not provide a lot of detail about those discussions in court.

Cohen, a former member of Trump's inner circle who in the past called himself the president's "fixer,", admitted this week that he made false statements to two congressional panels about the Moscow project in a bid to remain consistent with Trump's messaging about Russian Federation during the 2016 campaign.

He faces a possible sentence of up to five years in prison on the false statement charge and a potential $200,000 fine, but sentencing guidelines in the plea deal ranged from zero to six months.

Since his plea agreement, Cohen has assisted federal prosecutors, including Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office, and the NY attorney general's office in its investigation into the Donald Trump Foundation.

However, the lawyers admit, Cohen remained in contact with Russian Federation months after the campaign claimed it cut off communications, even making moves for Trump to travel to Russian Federation that summer.

They added that he "could have fought the government and continued to hold to the party line, positioning himself perhaps for a pardon".

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In Friday's memo to Judge Pauley, attorneys for Cohen wrote that "Michael's decision to cooperate and take full responsibility for his own conduct well reflects his personal resolve, notwithstanding past errors, to re-point his internal compass true north toward a productive, ethical and thoroughly law abiding life".

Cohen does not claim he was instructed by Trump to lie to Congress.

The lawyers portrayed Cohen as courageous for cooperating in Mueller's probe while the "investigation - and the rationale for its very existence - is regularly questioned publicly and stridently by the President of the United States".

"This personal decision does not signal any intention on Michael's part to withhold information or his availability to respond to additional inquiry".

In his earlier plea deal with federal prosecutors in NY for two campaign finance violations and six counts related to his personal finances, the guidelines call for 46 to 63 months in prison and up to $1 million in fines.

Cohen has also "voluntarily met twice" with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the memo said, and separately "met voluntarily" with the New York Attorney General's office "concerning a state court action in which the NYAG has sued the Donald J. Trump Foundation and certain individual defendants, including Donald J. Trump". His lawyers, though, disputed those calculations and argued his remarkable, if out-of-the-ordinary, cooperation warranted a sentence of "time-served".

"He and Client-1 also discussed possible travel to Russian Federation in the summer of 2016, and Michael took steps to clear dates for such travel", Cohen's lawyers said in the filing. The most powerful letter was from his father, Maurice Cohen, 83, a Holocaust survivor, who wrote that his son is "the oxygen in the air that I breathe".

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