Michael Cohen's legal team reached out to House Democrats on Thursday night to argue that Cohen is a valuable asset in their investigations of his former boss President Trump, that he could be more valuable by sifting through thousands of files on a newly recovered hard drive, that his imminent three-year prison sentence is unduly harsh, and that therefore the Democrats should reach out to federal prosecutors in Manhattan to delay and/or reduce his prison sentence.
The legal team's 12-page memo also gave new details on how Trump communicated to Cohen that he should lie to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower Moscow deal, at least as Cohen understood the message. First, they wrote:
When Cohen had to submit testimony to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in the fall of 2017, Trump and his [White House] advisors encouraged Cohen to lie and say all Moscow Tower project contacts ended as of January 31, 2017. Trump did so using "code" language — telling Cohen during various conversations that there was "no collusion, no Russian contacts, nothing about Russia" after the start of the campaign. [Letter from Cohen lawyers]
Cohen explained that he was, in effect, instructed to lie about the January 31, 2016, date through the use of Trump code words that could only be interpreted as an instruction or "directive" ... to cover-up the fact that Cohen had been in contact with Russians during most of the presidential campaign ... until June 2016, after Trump had become the putative Republican nominee. [Letter from Cohen lawyers]
The memo and hundred-plus of pages of documentation also assert that Cohen can demonstrate a Trump "conspiracy to collude" with the Russian government during the campaign, plus other alleged crimes committed by Trump. It also implicates Ivanka Trump, purporting to show proof that she knew about the Trump Tower Moscow deal and had tried to help facilitate its fruition. You can read more at BuzzFeed News, or read the memo itself.