SDNY throws the book at Michael Cohen, but Robert Mueller says he’s been helpful. Now what?

So that’s that. As expected, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has published its sentencing memo just now for Michael Cohen. He had asked for essentially a free pass. But the SDNY read him the riot act over the severity of his confessed crimes, even while acknowledging that he’d been cooperative in some (but not all) of the relevant criminal investigations.

The SDNY is recommending that Michael Cohen receive only a “modest” reduction from the prison sentencing guidelines, which are in the four to five year range. So this would mean Cohen is likely to get perhaps three years in prison. Robert Mueller then released a statement saying that while Cohen had provided him with significant cooperation, he had no opinion on what sentence Cohen should receive, meaning he’s essentially shrugging and leaving it to SDNY. So now what?

We’re still digging through the lengthy document to see what it reveals about Michael Cohen’s Trump-connected crimes. In the meantime it’s important to note that just last week, Robert Mueller had Cohen go into court and reveal Donald Trump’s role and motive in the Trump Tower Moscow conspiracy during the 2016 election. So it’s clear that Mueller has managed to put Cohen to good use – and there is likely more to this that hasn’t been revealed yet.

Now we wait to see what Robert Mueller has to say later this evening when he files the sentencing memo for Paul Manafort. In that document, Mueller will be laying out Manafort’s lies and crimes. Rudy Giuliani gave away earlier today that Mueller plans to accuse Manafort of having lied about the fact that Donald Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians. That may or may not be the full story. Stay tuned.