Turley: Michael Cohen's Request for Leniency 'Borders on Lunacy'
Legal expert Jonathan Turley joined the "Fox & Friends" co-hosts Friday morning to share insight on looming filings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.
Mueller faces a court-imposed Friday deadline to file potentially revealing sentencing memos outlining how former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort allegedly broke his cooperation agreements with the government, as well as how former Trump attorney Michael Cohen should be punished for lying to Congress in 2017 about an abandoned Trump real estate project in Russia.
The Cohen charge was part of a newly announced plea deal, and the ex-Trump lawyer is said to be cooperating extensively with Mueller.
Despite that, Turley, a constitutional law professor at George Washington University, said Cohen's request for leniency "borders on lunacy."
"Cohen is an officer of the court who spent a considerable effort violating the law, violating the oath as a lawyer," Turley explained. "Judges don't usually look kindly upon that."
He referred to a column he recently for The Hill, which reads in part:
Cohen insists that he has shown the “personal resolve, notwithstanding past errors, to repoint his internal compass true north toward a productive, ethical and thoroughly law abiding life.” The assumption is that special counsel Robert Mueller was standing just north of Cohen when he wrote that statement.
Cohen has never shown loyalty to anything or anyone but himself, according to the record compiled in the special counsel investigation. He betrayed the bar, his friends, and his clients whenever it suited his interests. He often planned ahead with moves like secretly taping his clients as a type of evidence nest egg for hard times. This is why I once described Cohen as meeting the classic Sam Houston definition of someone as having “all the characteristics of a dog except loyalty.”
Brian Kilmeade noted that Cohen's father, Holocaust survivor Maurice Cohen, wrote a heartfelt letter urging sentencing Judge William Pauley to impose a sentence of time served. Kilmeade asked if that could matter when it comes to sentencing.
Turley reiterated that Cohen's false statement to Congress was a "premeditated act" by an officer of the court.
"That's going to be the focus of this judge," Turley said.
Watch the "Fox & Friends" interview above.