In a stunning fall from grace, Michael Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in prison in connection with hush money payments to Donald Trump’s mistresses on his behalf shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen will be free until his surrender date of March 6, 2019. Judge William Pauley said he will recommend that he serve his term in Otisville. Three years in federal prison is a long time. He was hit with forfeiture of $500,000, restitution of $1.4 million and a fine of $50,000.
During the sentencing hearing, Cohen’s lawyer, Guy Petrillo said he offered “his relevant knowledge” to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office “knowing that he’d face a barrage of attack by the president.” “He knew that the president might shut down the investigation,” reporter Adam Klasfeld tweeted.
Petrillo says Cohen “came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country.” “No bank has ever lost money dealing with Michael Cohen,” he said.
Cohen told the judge, “I take full responsibility for each act that I pleaded guilty to ….” including those implicating the “President of the United States of America.”
Cohen was also charged with tax evasion and lying to a financial institution, in addition to campaign finance violations.
Last week, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in a charge brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. He also provided substantial information in the Mueller probe.
Federal prosecutors with the Southern District of New York asked for a substantial prison sentence for Cohen in the sentencing documents. They dropped the hammer on him because he was not forthcoming with them on numerous occasions.
Trump was accused of committing two felonies in the sentencing document because he “directed” Cohen to make the hush money payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.