Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen jailed for 3 years, says ‘job was to cover his dirty deeds’

President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen delivered a blistering attack on his former boss as he pleaded for leniency on Wednesday in federal court.
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen delivered a blistering attack on his former boss as he pleaded for leniency on Wednesday in federal court.(AFP File Photo)
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen delivered a blistering attack on his former boss as he pleaded for leniency on Wednesday in federal court.(AFP File Photo)
Updated on Dec 13, 2018 12:16 AM IST
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New York | ByYashwant Raj

A US federal court on Wednesday sentenced Michael Cohen, a former lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump, to three years on multiple charges including campaign funding law violation, which, prosecutors have said, was coordinated with and directed by the president, identified in court filings as “Individual-1”.

Cohen had faced a jail term of around five years but had pleaded for none in exchange for cooperating with at least four investigations, including one by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III. He has the option of having that term reduced by continuing to cooperate. He starts his jail term on March 6.

The judge, William H. Pauley III, also ordered Cohen to pay nearly $2 million in financial penalties.

Cohen had faced nine charges that included tax evasion, misleading financial institutions, campaign finance law violation and lying to congress. The campaign funding violations were in connection to hush-money payments he had arranged to buy the silence of women, a former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels (her birth name is Stephanie Cliffords) who have claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

“I take full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to: the personal ones to me and those involving the president of the United States of America,” Cohen said to a federal judge in Manhattan, New York.

“My weakness could be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump,” he added. And went on: “Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

President Trump has denied having those relationships as claimed by the women and has pushed back against suggestions that he has been implicated in the case of campaign funding law violation and has sought to put the blame squarely on Cohen alone. Cohen is a lawyer and, he told Reuters in an interview Tuesday, “I assume he would know what he’s doing”.

There had been no public comments or remarks form the President or the White House after the sentencing till the filing of this report.

Referring to Cohen’s plea for no jail term citing his cooperation with investigators, the judge said that he “selected the information he disclosed to the government. This court cannot agree with the defendant’s assertion that no jail time is warranted. In fact this court firmly believes that a significant term of imprisonment is fully justified in this highly publicized case to send a message”.

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Wednesday, December 08, 2021