A federal judge condemned Donald Trump's long-time lawyer, Michael Cohen, to three years in prison for a series of crimes he pleaded guilty on Thursday morning, and said that his cooperation with the Russian probe does not clean the slate & # 39 ;
Cohen, a lawyer, ought to have known better & # 39 ;, the judge said, after dramatic courtroom arguments in which recurring references to President Trump were mentioned – including his attacks on Cohen as & # 39; weak & # 39; and a & # 39; rat & # 39; and Cohen's own statement why he decided to provide information against him.
Cohen only needs to report to the prison on 6 March and can still get a discount on his time if he cooperates.
A tormented Cohen pleaded with a judge William Pauley to stay out of jail and apologized for the dirty deeds. of former employer Donald Trump tried to hide.
He will also have to hand over the government nearly $ 2 million in combined refunds and fines. He must report to the federal prison in Otisville, New York, a safe security prison in the state.
The tearful, long-time Donald Trump lawyer spoke in court and took on Trump – who he once said he & # 39; would hit a bullet & # 39; – because he weak & # 39; had mentioned in an attack.
& # 39; Recently, the president twittered a statement in which he called me weak and who knocked, but for another reason than he suggested, & # 39; Cohen told a federal judge in an open courtroom. It was because I felt time and time again that it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds, & # 39; said Cohen.
He accused President Trump of calling me a rat & # 39; and criticized his old employer because he had tried to influence a procedure that could in fact 'imply & # 39 ;.
Cohen went to the federal court in New York on Wednesday to be tried after prosecutors in New York handed him a "significant" & # 39; imprisonment – while his lawyer praised his willingness to testify against the president.
In a courtroom plea for leniency, Cohen's lawyer, Guy Petrillo, described his client as a brave witness who came up with evidence against the most powerful person in our country – and tried to create a contrast with the former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, whose public prosecutors say that they have committed "lies" despite the fact that they have agreed to cooperate.
He did so without being able to anticipate the full degree of attack that would be brought against him & # 39 ;, argued his lawyer.
Petrillo called it a "deep contrast." with others who decided to double-act & # 39; CNN reported.
Michael Cohen and his family leave their Trump Park Avenue apartment in New York City and go to court while being convicted on Wednesday
& # 39; He knew the president could close the investigation, & # 39; said Petrillo, Courthouse news reported.
His lawyers also pushed back to SDNY, who noted in his pending memorandum that Cohen never signed a cooperation agreement.
"He is wary of a long-term co-operation agreement for personal reasons", says Cohen operated on the basis of caring for his family and wanted the "brilliance of the camera's & # 39; s & # 39; avoid.
A person who reaches a cooperation agreement in New York is expected to answer all questions from the government and reveal everything about criminal activities of which they are aware.
Jeannie Rhee, representative of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, said that Cohen & credible & # 39; provided information on & # 39; all links between a campaign and a foreign government & # 39; and # 39; tried to tell us the truth & # 39 ;.
But Rhee was wary and noticed that there is so much we can say … given our ongoing research. & # 39;
But there was a split between public prosecutors. Federal prosecutors from New York entered a fight against Cohen who tried & # 39; selective cooperation & # 39; to enter.
The allegations he pleaded to be guilty of "portraying a pattern of deception, brutality and greed", argued Nicolas Roos, who pleaded for the southern district of New York.
Trump last month named Cohen & # 39; a weak person and not a very smart person.
Storm lawyer Michael Avenatti of Stormy was present for conviction and then spoke for the cameras.
& # 39; He deserves a 36-month sentence every day that he will serve & # 39 ;, Avenatti said.
Cohen left his Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan, accompanied by his wife Laura, along with his two children, when he started to learn his fate after the prosecutors in New York argued that he had a substantial & # 39; punishment.
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Cohen pleaded guilty to a ninth indictment last week – lying to Congress about his work on a Trump tower project in Moscow, which continued in the summer of 2016, when his old boss scored primary victories in his attempt to become president.
Cohen, who famously once said that he has a & # 39; bullet & # 39; For President Trump, he had previously pleaded guilty for tax fraud, campaign financing violations and counterfeiting of bank statements while receiving loans.
Cohen could receive up to five years' imprisonment after prosecutors in the southern district of New York had written in a letter that the court had a substantial prison sentence & # 39; to impose, as well as a $ 500,000 crime.
Special Counsel However, Robert Mueller's researchers emphasized in their own memo the extensive collaboration of Cohen with their Russian probe.
The judge in the case, William Pauley, is a Bill Clinton employee with a reputation for rigor in sentencing.
His job was to accept Cohen's plea for leniency and the various arguments of prosecutors. SDNY in their own memo argued that Cohen's description of his helpfulness is in some ways exaggerated and incomplete in other. & # 39; SNDY noted that Cohen & # 39; has no cooperation agreement … and therefore is not correctly described as a & # 39; collaborating witness & # 39 ;.
Cohen, a lawyer who has been protecting his career for President Donald Trump, will learn Wednesday whether his decision to cooperate with federal investigators will reduce his punishment for crimes, including illegal hush money payments to two women during the campaign of 2016 – a scandal that could damage the presidency of Trump.
A federal judge in New York will decide whether Cohen will receive leniency or years of imprisonment for violations of campaign funding, tax evasion and lying to Congress about the business activities of the President in Russia in the past.
Cohen, 52, appears at a courthouse in Manhattan around 11 o'clock for a court hearing before the American district judge William Pauley III.
DAY IN COURT: Michael Cohen leads with his wife Laura, daughter Samantha, to court and son is Jake. Samantha recently had a hip operation
Michael Cohen and his family leave their Trump Park Avenue apartment in New York City and go to court.
Michael Cohen and his family leave their Trump Park Avenue apartment in New York City and go to court.
epa07226161 Michael Cohen (C), the then former personal attorney of President Donald Trump, who went through security after he and his relatives had arrived (unseen) at his conviction at the US Federal Court in New York, New York, USA, December 12, 2018
Cohen and his daughter Samantha go to the federal court on Wednesday
According to federal sentencing guidelines, he gets about four years in prison, but his lawyers argue for leniency.
Some of Cohen's crimes, they said, were motivated by over enthusiasm for Trump, rather than some nefarious plans.
He has been guilty of deceiving Congress about his work with a proposal to build a Trump skyscraper in Moscow, and hides the fact that he has long talked with the Russians about the proposal in the presidential campaign.
FILE – In this November 29, 2018, photo of the file, Michael Cohen runs the federal court in New York. The moment of reckoning has almost arrived for Cohen, who discovers Wednesday, December 12, or his decision to walk away from President Donald Trump after years of unwavering loyalty will save him from a hard prison sentence. (AP Photo / Julie Jacobson, file)
In August, Cohen also pleaded guilty of violating the laws on campaign financing by orchestrating payments for the former Playboy model Karen McDougal and the actress Stormy Daniels, who filmed that they had sexual encounters with Trump when he was married, silence.
For weeks, Cohen's legal strategy seemed to revolve around convincing the court that he was a Reformed man who gave up long-term friendships and abandoned his livelihood when he decided to break ties with the president and to speak with federal investigators. The Cohen lawyers filed a statement in court that their client could have stayed with the president and was ashamed of a presidential pardon.
New York prosecutors have urged a judge to sentence Cohen to a substantial prison sentence, saying that he has not fully cooperated and exaggerated his helpfulness.
They have only asked for a small reduction in his sentence on the basis of his work with the office of special counsel Robert Mueller and prosecutors who studied the campaign funding violations in New York.
A probation, they said, is not suitable for & # 39; a man who knowingly tried to undermine the basic institutions of our democracy & # 39 ;.
While many Americans who wanted to knock a certain outcome to the elections knocked on doors, worked on telephone banks, or found a number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen tried to influence the elections from the shadows. He did this by organizing secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have publicized their alleged extramarital affairs with Trump, wrote prosecutors.
Prosecutors said that Cohen orchestrated payments to McDougal and Daniels in the direction of Trump.
Trump, who insists that things have never happened, said Monday in a tweet that payments to the women & # 39; a simple private transaction & # 39; were, no campaign contribution. And if it was a campaign contribution, the president said, Cohen is the one who should be held responsible.
"The liability of the lawyer if he made a mistake, I did not," Trump wrote and added: "Cohen is just trying to reduce his verdict. HEKSENJACHT! & # 39;
A difficult decision would show Cohen with little for his decision to confess guilt, although experts said that Wednesday's hearing may not be the last word about his sentence.
Former Playboy model Karen McDougal (left) and porn actress Stormy Daniels (right) claimed to have slept with Donald Trump in the past, but the government says that Cohen coordinated with Trump to ensure that women were paid for their silence – in fact, a few huge campaign contributions designed to save the election for Trump
The Michael Cohen conviction memorandum from a federal prosecutor in New York recommends 51 to 63 months in prison
Cohen can review his sentence if he closes a deal with prosecutors in which he provides additional cooperation within a year of his sentence, said Michael J. Stern, a former federal prosecutor in Detroit and Los Angeles.
& # 39; There are few things that make a suspect's renewed interest in working together faster than trading in custom Italian pants for an off-the-rack orange jump suit, & # 39; he said.
Annemarie McAvoy, a former federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, said the plaintiffs seem to be angry with Cohen because they have limited his cooperation.
& # 39; It could be a tactic to try and break it as they tried to do with (Paul) Manafort, & # 39; said McAvoy, referring to the former campaign chairman of Trump. & # 39; It shows a little bit that they screw the screws on him. If they were not angry with him, he did not give them what they wanted. & # 39;
President Donald Trump first distanced himself from Cohen and then went after him while he was working with the authorities
Trump Michael Cohen's former lawyer must spend between 51 and 63 months in the federal prison, according to a public prosecutor's memo
The transition from Cohen from Trump's fixer-in-chief to criminal was exciting.
He told an interviewer that he & # 39; a bullet & # 39; would take for Trump. But faced with prosecution for dodging $ 1.4 million in taxes, Cohen pleaded guilty in August, promising to cooperate with Mueller's investigation into Russian interference with the presidential election and changed his party registration from Republican to Democrat.
Judge Pauley, who was appointed to the federal court by ex-president Bill Clinton, may allow Cohen to serve any prison term he receives at a later date. But legal experts said that Cohen could also be immediately taken into custody.
& # 39; If I would advise him, I encourage him to bring his toothbrush to justice, & # 39; said Stern.
The lawyers of Cohen have not asked for a prison sentence, because he says he has suffered enough.
"The biggest punishment that Michael endured in the criminal trial is the shame and fear he feels daily because he has subjected his family to the consequences of his case," wrote his lawyers last month in a court case. The media shed and intrusions on them, including his children, the regular hate correspondence and written and verbal threats, the fact that he will lose his legal license, the termination of business relations by banks and insurers and the loss of friendships, his but some of these consequences. & # 39;