President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Trump Organization Vice President, and Republican National Committee official Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in jail after pleading guilty to numerous federal charges.
Cohen was sentenced to three years, the longest sentence imposed in the multiple ongoing investigations related to Trump, for charges spanning to separate cases, CNN reported.
In August, he pleaded guilty in a federal court in Manhattan to two campaign finance violations for paying Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal hush money to stay silent about their alleged affairs with Trump. He also pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud and making false statements to a bank.
Last month, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in special counsel Bob Mueller’s probe.
"Mr. Cohen pled guilty to a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct," US District Judge William Pauley said in court. "Each of the crimes involved deception and each appears to have been motivated by personal greed and ambition."
Pauley also ordered Cohen to pay $1.39 million in restitution, forfeit $500,000, and pay $100,000 in fines.
He must report to prison by March 6.
"Together, these crimes implicate core defining parts of our democracy: Government funded by the people, free and transparent elections," Assistant US Attorney Nicholas Roos said in court. "And in committing these crimes, Mr. Cohen has eroded faith in the electoral process and compromised the rule of law."
Cohen points finger at 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 in court.
"Recently, the President tweeted a statement calling me 'weak,' and he was correct, but for a much different reason than he was implying," Cohen said. "It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass."
Trump insists violations to help his campaign were all Cohen’s fault:
“I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law,” Trump tweeted, insisting that Cohen was “supposed to know the law.”
He then claimed that he did nothing wrong and that the two campaign charges were “not criminal.”
“Those charges were just agreed to by him in order to embarrass the president and get a much reduced prison sentence,” he claimed.
Fox News analyst says Trump committed a felony:
"Career prosecutors here in New York have evidence that the president of the United States committed a felony by ordering and paying Michael Cohen to break the law,” Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano said. “How do we know that? They told that to the federal judge. Under the rules, they can’t tell that to the federal judge unless they actually have that hardcore evidence. Under the rules, they can’t tell that to the federal judge unless they intend to do something with that evidence."
“The felony is paying Michael Cohen to commit a felony. It’s pretty basic," Napolitano said. "You pay someone to commit a crime, they commit the crime. You are liable, criminally liable for the commission of that crime. That’s what the prosecutors told the federal judge.”