President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison for his admitted crimes.
Cohen made a statement in a federal court in Manhattan, saying:
“I take full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to — The personal ones to me and those involving the president of the United States of America…. Blind loyalty’ to Trump ‘led me to take a path of darkness instead of light.”
Judge William Pauley, who offered a short statement before handing down the brutal three-year prison sentence for Cohen, said: “Mr. Cohen plead guilty to a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct. And each of these crimes standing alone warrant considerable punishment.”
Prosecutors against Cohen wanted the judge to give “a substantial term of imprisonment” which could have been five years or higher depending on the situation.
Cohen’s legal representation requested no prison time and noted his cooperation with the prosecution as ammunition in hopes to win a sentence that would allow him to remain out of a jail cell.
Cohen had been working with the prosecution before he plead guilty in summer of 2017, but it may have only helped his sentence be reduced to three years.
Cohen’s attorney, Guy Petrillo, stated in hopes of a lesser sentence: “Life is tough and Michael Cohen accepts that. We accept that. Mr. Cohen had the misfortune to have been counsel to the president.”
Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight charges, which included tax crimes, lying to banks and violating campaign finance laws. Those charges were filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
He pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about an aborted deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. That case was lodged by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is continuing to investigate the possibility that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen admitted lying to Congress by understating Trump’s knowledge of and involvement in the Moscow project. Cohen falsely claimed the effort to build the tower died in early 2016. But he and the Trump Organization continued pursuing the deal as late as June 2016, when Trump was on the verge of getting the Republican nomination for president.
Cohen’s other crimes included campaign finance violations relating to his facilitation of two hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal shortly before the 2016 presidential election. Both women say they had sex with Trump a decade earlier.
The prosecution alleges that payments were made “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, and that the money was paid to “influence the election.”
Trump and the White House deny any sexual relations with either of the women mentioned.
Robert Mueller spoke up for Cohen, stating that he worked well with Special Counsel’s investigation.
To turn the tables upside down, it was another prosecutor named Nicholas Roos who completely contradicted that, stating to the judge that Michael Cohen “didn’t come anywhere close to assisting this office in an investigation.”
CNBC went into more detail, stating:
“Roos said the charges against Cohen “portray a pattern of deception, of brazenness and of greed.”
Roose also said that in assisting in paying off Trump’s purported paramours to have them keep quiet before voters went to the polls on Election Day in 2016, “Mr. Cohen has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law.”
Trump has not been criminally charged in the case. But Cohen’s admissions in his cases leave open the possibility that Trump could face prosecution, particularly once he leaves the White House.”
With Cohen sentenced to three years in prison, one must wonder what happens next.