Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen Craig Ruttle/AP/Press Association Image
michael cohen

Jailed former Trump lawyer says he felt he was duty-bound 'to cover up his dirty deeds'

Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison.

US PRESIDENT DONALD Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has been sentenced to three years in prison for crimes including hush-money payments that prosecutors say Trump ordered.

His sentence is in line with what federal prosecutors asked for, with guidelines calling for around four to five years in prison and prosecutors asking in court papers that Cohen be given only a slight break. 

District Judge William H. Pauley III said that Cohen deserved modest credit for his decision over the summer to admit guilt and co-operate in a federal investigation of efforts by Russians to influence the presidential election, but that his assistance “does not wipe the slate clean”. 

“Somewhere along the way Mr. Cohen appears to have lost his moral compass,” the judge said. “As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better.”

Cohen told the judge just before he was sentenced that loyalty to Trump led him astray.

“It was my blind loyalty to this man that led me to take a path of darkness instead of light,” he said. “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

Cohen’s lawyers had argued for leniency, saying that he decided to cooperate with investigators rather than hold out for a possible pardon.

“He came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country,” Cohen’s lawyer, Guy Petrillo, told the judge during the hearing.

Cohen (52) pleaded guilty in August to evading $1.4 million in taxes related to his personal businesses.

In the part of the case with greater political repercussions, he also admitted breaking campaign finance laws in arranging payments in the waning days of the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

Cohen became the first — and so far, only — member of Trump’s circle during two years of investigations to go into open court and implicate the president in a crime, though whether a president can be prosecuted is a matter of legal dispute.

Last month, Cohen also pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings in Russia.

He admitted hiding the fact that he was negotiating a proposal to build a Trump skyscraper in Moscow well into the presidential campaign. He said he lied out of devotion to Trump, who had insisted during the campaign that he had no business ties whatsoever to Russia.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Author
Associated Foreign Press
Your Voice
Readers Comments
37
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel