Michael Cohen tells court prisident trump led him “to choose a path of darkness over light”
Cohen, 52, who once vowed that he’d “take a bullet for the president” slammed Trump as he’s sentenced to 3 years in prison in New York, on Wednesday
Accompanied to court Wednesday morning by his wife and children, he shook his head and shut his eyes as he learned his fate, while his daughter gasped and wept
Trump’s one time personal attorney blamed Donald Trump for corrupting him before being sentenced Wednesday – blaming his fraud and lies on ‘blind loyalty’ to cover up the ‘dirty deeds’ of Trump
He was facing more than five years behind bars for crimes he pleaded guilty to committing when Trump was running for office
Including campaign finance violations and tax evasion tied to paying off women who claimed to have had affairs with the president
He must report to jail in upstate – Cohen was also ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution to the IRS, $500,000 in forfeitures and $100,000 in fines
Although Special Counsel Mueller’s team noted his cooperation with the Russia probe, the Southern District of New York in a court filing said he deserved a ‘substantial’ sentence
He had pled guilty to nine criminal charges that included arranging illegal payoffs during the 2016 campaign, in contravention of campaign finance rules
Michael Cohen had pled guilty to making false statements to Congress about his 2016 pursuit of a Trump tower deal in Moscow and contacts with Russians about it
His plea included guilt for campaign finance and bank fraud related to $130,000 payment to porn star porn star Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels
He was also involved in arranging a $150,000 pay off to Playboy model, Karen McDougal through a tabloid magazine
The hush money was to stop the women from going public about their alleged affairs with candidate Trump
Cohen testified he was ‘directed’ by ‘Individual one, [Donald Trump], to make payment to Daniels’
Cohen’s bromance with Trump ended when he was facing serious jail time and massive legal fees
Michael Cohen, goes through security screening after arriving at federal court in the Southern District’s Federal courthouse in Manhattan, NY, on Wednesday
A federal judge on Thursday sentenced longtime Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to three years in jail for a series of crimes to which he pleaded guilty, saying his cooperation with the Russia probe ‘does not wipe the slate clean.’
As an attorney, Cohen ‘should have known better,’ said the judge, following dramatic courtroom arguments that featured repeated references to President Trump – including his attacks on Cohen as ‘weak’ and a ‘rat’ and Cohen’s own explanation of what it took to provide information against him.
Cohen shed tears in the courtroom as he sought leniency and reflected on decisions in his life that he now regrets – including his own ‘blind loyalty’ to Trump, a man who helped make him rich and later ‘directed’ him to engage in one of the crimes he pleaded guilty to committing.
Cohen won’t have to report to jail until March 6, and could still get a further discount to his time if he cooperates.
Michael Cohen leaves the Manhattan district Federal Court after his three-year sentence on Wednesday. He should spend between 51 and 63 months in federal prison, according to a prosecutor’s memo
Michael Cohen blamed President Trump for corrupting him before being sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for crimes that included arranging illegal payoffs during the 2016 campaign to keep a porn star and a Playboy model silent about their alleged affairs with Trump.
Cohen — who once vowed that he’d “take a bullet for the president” — told the judge that Trump had led him “to choose a path of darkness over light.”
“Recently, the president tweeted a statement calling me weak, and he was correct — but for a much different reason,” Cohen said.
“Time and again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than listen to my own voice.”
“Today is the day I am getting my freedom back,” Cohen added.
Michael Cohen and his family leave their Trump Park Avenue Apt in New York City for federal court for his scheduled sentencing on Wednesday
Trump’s former personal lawyer and longtime “fixer” also broke down in tears while describing how his family, all present in court, had “suffered immeasurably” because “I have let them all down.”
The punishment imposed by Manhattan federal Judge William Pauley III was well below the maximum five-plus years Cohen had faced under non-binding guidelines, but more than the no-jail sentence sought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in exchange for Cohen’s cooperation with his Russia probe.
Cohen arrives for sentencing on dec 12. 2018, flanked by his son Jake and daughter Samantha
It’s judgment day for Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who arrived in Manhattan federal court Wednesday morning to be sentenced for crimes including an illicit hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Clutching the arm of his daughter and also joined by his wife and son, Cohen said nothing to reporters as the family walked into the courthouse to learn his fate.
He was facing more than five years behind bars for crimes he pleaded guilty to committing when Trump was running for office — including campaign finance violations and tax evasion tied to paying off women who claimed to have had affairs with the president.
Donald Trump initially denied knowledge of Cohen’s alleged hush money payments to porn star, Stormy Daniels, seen in the photo with the president. He now says it is a private transaction and should not be considered illegal
Cohen shook his head and shut his eyes as he learned his fate, while his daughter Samantha Cohen gasped and wept.
Once court was adjourned, Cohen was seen consoling Samantha, who was allowed to sit in the well, behind her dad, because she’s walking with crutches. Next he hugged and kissed his son, Jake, who burst into tears after approaching from the gallery with his mom, Laura. Cohen has until March 6 to report to prison.
Cohen pled guilty in August to campaign-finance charges and tax evasion in a case brought by Manhattan federal prosecutors that involved the hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels and ex-Playmate Karen McDougal.
He didn’t have a cooperation agreement at the time, but he began spilling cooperating anyway and later struck a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Under terms of that pact, Cohen pleaded guilty last month to lying to Congress about efforts during the 2016 campaign to win Russian government help for a planned Trump development project in Moscow.
Pauley said Cohen had committed a “veritable smorgasbord of illegal conduct,” even though “as a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better.”
“The magnitude and breadth of his criminal conduct requires general deterrence,” Pauley said.
Michael Cohen, seen arriving at federal court for his sentencing hearing in Manhattan, NY, on Wednesday was aghast as he learned his fate, while family gasped and wept
“Mr. Cohen’s crimes implicate a far more insidious harm to our democratic institutions…especially making false statements to Congress.”
The judge observed that after going to work for Trump in 2007, Cohen “thrived on his access to wealthy and powerful people and he became one himself.”
“Somewhere along the way, Mr. Cohen appears to have lost his moral compass and sought to monetize his newfound influence,” he said.
“While Mr. Cohen has taken steps to mitigate his criminal conduct…that does not wipe the slate clean.”
Judge Pauley, may allow Cohen to begin serving any prison term he receives at a later date. But legal experts said Cohen could also be taken into custody immediately.’If I were advising him, I’d encourage him to bring his toothbrush to court,’ said Stern.
Cohen’s lawyers have asked for no prison time, saying he has suffered enough already.
‘The greatest punishment Michael has endured in the criminal process has been the shame and anxiety he feels daily from having subjected his family to the fallout from his case,’ his attorneys wrote in a court filing last month. ‘The media glare and intrusions on all of them, including his children, the regular hate correspondence and written and oral threats, the fact that he will lose his law license, the termination of business relationships by banks and insurers and the loss of friendships, are but some of this fallout.’
Earlier in the proceeding, one of Mueller’s prosecutors, Jeannie Rhee, told Pauley that Cohen had “repeated the false statements” he made to Congress during his first voluntary meeting with the Mueller team in July, but came clean during a second interview in September.
“He has fully accepted responsibility for the lies he told Congress. He has provided our office with reliable information about core Russian issues,” she said.
“He has provided valuable information to us while taking care and being careful to note what he knows and what he doesn’t know.”
Rhee was vague on the details, however, saying that “there’s only so much that we can say about the particulars at this time, given our ongoing investigation.”
Cohen also paid off Playboy model Karen McDougal, seen here with Trump, arranged through a tabloid magazine to muzzle her expose
Manhattan federal prosecutor Nicolas Roos, however, urged Pauley to impose a “substantial custodial sentence,” noting that in addition to his Trump-related crimes, Cohen “quite brazenly stole millions of dollars of income from the IRS.”
“These tax crimes went on for at least five years,” Roos said.
“It was deliberate and it was willful.”
Taken together, Roos said, “Mr. Cohen has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law.”
Michael Cohen heads to court along with his wife Laura [left], daughter Samantha [right], and son is Jake [trailing behind]. Samantha recently had hip surgery
Cohen’s attorney, Guy Petrillo, argued for “a full consideration of mercy,” praising Cohen’s “courage” and saying his decision to help prosecutors was “importantly different” from most.
“He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country,” Petrillo said.
“He did so not knowing what the result would be, not knowing how the politics would play out and not knowing if the special counsel would survive.”
Petrillo said Cohen “knew that the president might shut down the investigation and he knew that there might come a time when he would appear in court and there would be no special counsel to stand up for him.”
“He moved forward nonetheless,” Petrillo added.
In addition to imposing the prison time, Judge Pauley ordered Cohen to pay $1.4 million in restitution to the IRS, $500,000 in forfeitures and $100,000 in fines.
Cohen said nothing as he left the courthouse and was driven off in a black SUV.