Trumps former fixer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison

first_imgShare on LinkedIn … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s longtime personal fixer, was sentenced to 36 months in prison in New York on Wednesday for crimes including lying to Congress and facilitating illegal payments to silence two women who alleged affairs with Trump. This article is more than 7 months old Michael Cohen Jill Abramson The sentencing by the US district judge William Pauley in Manhattan capped a stunning about-face for a lawyer who once said he would “take a bullet” for Trump but has now directly implicated the president in criminal conduct.In an emotional court scene in which he described his disillusionment with Trump, Cohen said he had committed the crimes out of “blind loyalty” to the president.“I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired,” Cohen said. “I know now, in fact, there is little to be admired.”“I take full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to,” Cohen told the judge. “The personal ones to me and those involving the president of the United States of America …“It was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”As the sentence was imposed, Cohen stood to face the judge and shook his head repeatedly. Afterwards, he sat at the table and put his head in his hands, then exchanged hugs with family members in the room. First published on Wed 12 Dec 2018 10.15 EST Read more Donald Trump Share on WhatsApp This article is more than 7 months old Topics Share on Facebook Sign up for the new US morning briefing Share via Email Cohen, 52, admitted in August that on the eve of the 2016 presidential election he made a $130,000 payment to the porn star Stormy Daniels and arranged for a $150,000 payment to the former Playboy model Karen McDougal.Cohen’s lawyers agreed with prosecutors that those payments violated campaign finance laws, which require disclosure and allow maximum individual donations of $2,700.Trump directed Cohen to make the illegal payments, prosecutors in the southern district of New York said in a court filing last week.Trump has denied the affairs with Daniels and McDougal and dismissed the six-figure hush payments to them as a “simple private transaction”, having previously denied knowledge of them.The prominent supreme court lawyer Neal Katyal called the sentence “bad news for Trump”. “In most jurisdictions, subordinates who carry out felonies at the direction of their boss get lower criminal sentences than the boss,” Katyal tweeted.Concurrent to his three-year prison term for crimes prosecuted in New York, Cohen will serve two months for lying to Congress, the judge ruled, and he will be on three years of supervised release following his prison term. Cohen also was hit with nearly $2m in fines and restitution requirements.Pauley ordered Cohen to surrender himself to authorities by 6 March. His lawyers requested that Cohen be allowed to serve his term at a facility in Orange county about two hours north of Cohen’s homes in New York City.Guy Petrillo, a lawyer for Cohen, argued in court for leniency, saying that Cohen offered evidence “against the most powerful person in our country … knowing that he’d face a barrage of attack by the president.”“He knew that the president might shut down the investigation,” Petrillo said.Cohen indicated that attacks on him by Trump in recent months had personally stung. “For months now, the president of the United States publicly mocks me,” Cohen said, “calling me a rat and a liar and insisting that the court sentence me to the maximum time in prison”.The prosecutor Nicolas Roos hit back, saying that Cohen had engaged in “a pattern of deception, of brazenness and of greed” that had “eroded faith in the electoral process and the rule of law”.Pauley, the judge, said Cohen had “lost his moral compass” and committed a “veritable smorgasbord” of crimes.“The need for general deterrents is amplified in this case,” Pauley said, adding, “as a lawyer, Mr Cohen should have known better”. Trump-Russia investigation ‘Mr President, did Michael Cohen cover up your dirty deeds?’ a reporter asks Trump – video Tom McCarthy and Erin Durkin in New York Shares436436 Trump’s tweets show how rattled he is by Mueller’s findings Share via Email Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Michael Cohen 0:51 news Support The Guardian Cohen guilty of hush money payments and lying to CongressCohen admitted covering up Trump’s ‘dirty deeds’Follow the latest US politics news Trump hush money: no charges for National Enquirer company over payments – as it happened Cohen also faced sentencing on a separate charge of lying to Congress when he said that a Trump Organization effort to build a tower in Moscow was terminated in January 2016, as presidential primary voting got under way. In fact, the Moscow project was still in the works after Trump clinched the Republican nomination for the presidency in the summer of 2016, Cohen admitted last month.Cohen was also sentenced for tax and bank fraud crimes to which he pleaded guilty in August.Sentencing guidelines had called for a prison term of four or five years. Last week Trump tweeted that Cohen “should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence”.Lawyers for Cohen argued for leniency based on his cooperation with prosecutors in a filing last month. But prosecutors in the southern district asked that Cohen be given a “substantial term of imprisonment”, noting that he had not entered a full cooperation agreement with them, which would have required him to testify fully about any and all criminal activity he might know about from his decade inside the Trump Organization or before or after.In a parallel filing, however, the special counsel Robert Mueller asked the judge to give consideration to Cohen’s work with Mueller’s team, the details of which have not fully emerged but which Mueller indicated went to the heart of his investigation of alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia and possible obstruction of justice by the president.Jeannie S Rhee, a prosecutor from Mueller’s office, told the judge that Cohen had provided “credible” and “valuable information” about “core Russia issues”.Rhee did not elaborate. “There’s only so much we can say about the particulars at this time,” she said.Trump has denied any coordination with Russian operatives during the election and called the Mueller investigation a “witch-hunt”.Petrillo argued that Cohen’s high profile had set him up for an aggressive prosecution. “Mr Cohen had the misfortune,” Petrillo said, “to be counsel to the president.” Read more Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison Share on Twitter Play Video Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Wed 12 Dec 2018 13.34 EST Since you’re here… Reuse this contentlast_img read more