Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

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Ellie Culin

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Michael Cohen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

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On Wednesday, President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including tax evasion, breaking campaign finance laws, and lying to Congress.

 

Earlier this year, Cohen had been accused of arranging the payment hush-money to two women, including adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed that they had had affairs with President Trump. In January, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Daniels’ silence had been bought with $130,000, money that Cohen claimed had been from his own pocket.

 

In April, Cohen’s office and home were raided by federal agents. Cohen announced in court that Trump had directed the hush-money payments; Trump denied the statements before admitting that he had known about them.

 

In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges. The possibility of a pardon from Trump was addressed by Cohen’s personal lawyer, Lanny Davis. Davis said that Cohen would “never accept a pardon from a man that he considers to be both corrupt and a dangerous person in the oval office.” Cohen’s sentencing was on Wednesday December 12th.

 

During his sentencing, Cohen apologized to the court for his crimes. Cohen explained that his actions were due to a sense of obligation to Trump; “My own weakness was blind loyalty to the man that caused me to choose the path of darkness,” he said, “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

 

Responses to Cohen’s admissions in the White House were not kind; Rudolph Giuliani, another of Trump’s lawyers, called Cohen a “pathetic serial liar.” Trump has not since denied his involvement with the affair hush-money, but he did say that he had “never directed him to do anything wrong. Whatever he did he did on his own. He’s a lawyer. A lawyer who represents a client is supposed to do the right thing,” Trump told Fox News, “that’s why you pay them a lot of money.”

 

Cohen’s lawyers that prison was unnecessary. New York lawyers argued for four years. In the end, Judge William H. Pauley III called Cohen’s crimes a “veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct,” and sentenced Cohen to three years. He recommended that Cohen serve his time in FCI Otisville, a prison characterized as being ideal for inmates convicted of white-collar crimes like Cohen.

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/2018/08/22/640795902/michael-cohens-lawyer-says-hed-never-accept-a-pardon-from-president-trump

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/nyregion/michael-cohen-sentence-trump.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/13/politics/donald-trump-tweets-michael-cohen-sentencing/index.html

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/12/us/michael-cohen-prison-otisville/index.html

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