Attorneys representing Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen have told members of congress their client has a “substantial trove” of documents relevant to their investigations, in a bid to keep him out of prison.
In a letter sent to the lawmakers on Thursday, Cohen’s legal team said he had recently accessed a hard drive with more than 14 million files – including emails, voice recordings and attachments from his computers and phones.
The lawyers said the president’s former fixer has identified documents which will be of interest to Democrats currently investigating Mr Trump.
“To date, Mr Cohen has located several documents that we believe have significant value to the various congressional oversight and investigation committees,” wrote lawyers Lanny Davis, Michael Monico and Carly Chocron.
They also claimed Cohen would not be able to finish reviewing all the material if he reports to prison on 6 May as scheduled, asking the lawmakers to write letters explaining their client was still cooperating.
The lawyers said he had a “substantial trove of new information, documents, recordings, and other evidence” to offer.
Cohen, who pleaded guilty last year to tax evasion, fraud, lying to congress and campaign finance violations, has already received one delay on medical grounds while he recovered from a shoulder surgery. He has been sentenced to a three-year term in jail.
The new request was sent to US representatives Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters and Elijah Cummings. If any lawmakers were to write such a letter, it would be useful in Cohen’s attempt to delay his prison report date.
In their letter, Cohen’s lawyers admitted they were still holding out hope that federal prosecutors in New York would not only back another delay in the start of his prison term, but agree to reopen his case and advocate for a lighter sentence.
“It is our hope that the authorities in the Southern District of New York will consider this total picture of cooperation by Mr Cohen, verified by your letter and the important new evidence he has made available or could make available to assist the government, and the particular facts involved here to grant Mr Cohen a reduced term following the rules and procedures of the Southern District of New York.”
Cohen testified before a series of congressional committees in February, including a televised hearing in front of the House Oversight Committee in which he denounced the president as a “conman” and a “cheat”.
Additional reporting by agencies
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