Imprisoned ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asks for reduced sentence, blasts 'Barr-led' Justice Department

Imprisoned ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asks for reduced sentence, blasts 'Barr-led' Justice Department
By: WNG CNBC Posted On: December 11, 2019 View: 37

Imprisoned ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen asks for reduced sentence, blasts 'Barr-led' Justice Department

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen departs after testifying behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 26, 2019.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen on Wednesday asked a judge to consider either reducing his three-year prison term, or release him on a new sentence of home confinement and community service.

Cohen, 53, pleaded guilty in 2018 to multiple financial crimes, and to violating campaign finance laws in connection with hush money payments to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claim to have had sexual affairs with Trump.

The president has denied both women's allegations. 

A lawyer for Cohen, Lanny Davis, noted that Cohen has given "substantial assistance" to Congressional committees, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation and the Manhattan District Attorney's office in an ongoing probe of Trump's business since admitting his guilt.

And Davis said that Cohen has been a "model inmate" since he began serving his sentece in early May in the federal facility in Otisville, New York.

"We question whether Attorney General [William] Barr, who thinks his role is to act as President Trump's personal attorney rather than the attorney for the American people, has interfered and influenced the decision not to credit Mr. Cohen for all his cooperation in bringing the facts out publicly about Mr. Trump's wrongdoing," Davis told CNBC.

"We also respectfully ask the court to consider the fairness of what appears to be unjust targeting and selective prosecution of only Mr. Cohen, who took responsibility while all others in the Trump Organization, including Mr. Trump himself, seem to have escaped accountability."

Davis and Cohen's other lawyers claim that the Barr-led Justice Department did not act in "good faith" in failing to meet with Cohen after he surrendered to serve his sentence, or support his motion. The lawyers are seeking a hearing to explore the "motivations" of the Justice Department, Davis said.

"Cohen essentially contends the Government's position represents a consistent pattern of blind Barr loyalty to President Trump, even now as Articles of Impeachment are being drawn in the House of Representatives," Davis said.

A Justice Department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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