Michael Cohen was paid more than $4 million by several firms for promising access to his former client Donald Trump.
A federal prosecutor told a judge on Friday that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen should spend between 51 and 63 months in prison for a range of federal crimes including tax evasion and violating campaign finance laws.
Now federal prosecutors provided new details on the extent of former Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s attempts to cash in on his access to President Trump.
They claimed that Cohen extracted more than $4 million from major corporations in return for his supposed insight into White House policy making.
Michael Cohen (left) was paid more than $4 million by several firms for promising access to his former client Donald Trump (right)
Cohen met an associate named Imaad Zuberi who inquired about access to high level events where Trump and other White House officials would be in attendance
According to prosecutors, Cohen, who has pleaded guilty to eight federal criminal charges, immediately sought to profit from his connections to Trump in the wake of his former boss’ 2016 election victory.
They wrote in a sentencing memo: ‘Cohen successfully convinced numerous major corporations to retain him as a consultant who could provide unique insights about and access to the new administration,’ prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo filed on Friday.
‘Some of these corporations were then stuck making large up-front or periodic payments to Cohen, even though he provided little or no real services under these contracts.
‘Bank records reflect that Cohen made more than $4 million dollars before the contracts were terminated’.
Cohen’s confirmed consulting clients were telecom giant AT&T, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, and the investment fund linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, the Daily Beast reported.
According to the memo, Cohen had a politically connected associate named Imaad Zuberi, a venture capitalist and Obama donor, who he met various times in 2016 and 2017.
Zuberi had inquired at Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 about access to high-level events and was apparently told he would need to pay upward of $1 million to attend events with key figures in the Trump administration.
Cohen should spend between 51 and 63 months in prison for a range of federal crimes, according to a prosecutor
The Daily Beast reported that Zuberi donated more than $900,000 to the inaugural committee and corresponded with Cohen directly about that donation.
According to a report in The Intercept, Cohen reportedly asked Qatari government officials in late 2016 to chip in $1 million to the new administration’s federal infrastructure spending fund in exchange for access to the Trump administration.
The offer was apparently declined, but Cohen asked others for similar donations, according to those sources, and spoke at length with Zuberi about the fund.
Zuberi had also been in close contact with Elliott Broidy, the former RNC chairman, sources told the Daily Beast.
Broidy and Zuberi spoke at length about potential business partnerships.
It is understood that Broidy hired Cohen to arrange a $1.6 million to a former Playboy model in exchange for her silence about a sexual encounter.
Two other payoffs to alleged Trump mistresses Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were at the center of felony campaign finance violations to which Cohen admitted as part of his plea deal.
In the sentencing memo on Friday, prosecutors said that those payoffs were undertaken ‘in coordination with and at the direction’ of Trump.
Imaad Zuberi , seen at an event with Donald Trump, donated more than $900,000 to the Presidential inaugural committee at the start of 2017
Imaad Zuberi, a venture capitalist and a major political donor, is pictured with Paul Ryan (right) in an undated photo
Novartis reportedly paid Cohen $1.2 million for insights on Republican efforts to repeal Obamacare.
AT&T paid $600,000 for advice on antitrust issues surrounding its efforts to purchase Time Warner.
In Robert Mueller’s investigation, filed just last month, the special counsel alleged that Cohen has admitted lying about his efforts and timing on the Trump Tower Moscow plan, and alleges that he briefed Trump about the project’s status in 2016.
Cohen told investigators that the entire projet was scrapped before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary inJanuary 2016.
However negotiations related to the proposal were going on through the time of the July Republican National Convention.
Cohen arranged payoffs to porn actress Stormy Daniels (left) and former Playboy model Karen McDougal (right) to avoid embarrassments for then- Presidential candidate Donald Trump
President Trump has termed Cohen ‘weak’ for cooperating with prosecutors
Mueller charged Cohen with a felony for lying to his investigators, but said he was truthful in six other sessions where government lawyers plied him with questions.
Khuzami told the court Friday that Cohen should be punished for ‘extensive, deliberate, and serious criminal conduct,’ and that ‘a substantial prison term is requireda.’
Longtime friends of Cohen assembled a counter-narrative this week to help him stay out of jail – lauding him as a family man who provided advice on school bullying and once offered to buy his teacher a car.
Cohen also fielded pitches from a friend who wanted to open a children’s barbershop and helped others get their children into the right school.
President Trump has termed Cohen ‘weak’ for cooperating with prosecutors. Zealous presidential allies have called him a ‘rat’ for cooperating with the government at all.
Said White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders Friday: ‘The government’s filings in Mr Cohen’s case tell us nothing of value that wasn’t already known. Mr. Cohen has repeatedly lied and as the prosecution has pointed out to the court, Mr. Cohen is no hero.’