Donald Trump’s former personal attorney and confidant Michael Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison for paying “hush money” to two women over their alleged affairs with the president and lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Russia.
Mr Cohen pleaded guilty in August to paying out six-figure payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal in a bid to protect his client during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Mr Trump said on Tuesday he was not concerned he could be impeached and the payments made ahead of the 2016 election did not violate campaign finance laws.
Cohen, 52, walked into court with his wife, son and daughter amid a crowd of photographers and reporters. His 23-year-old daughter, Samantha, and 19-year-old son, Jake, both wept silently in the courtroom, the son wiping his eyes with his jacket sleeve. After being sentenced, Cohen walked over to his daughter and kissed her head.
Cohen’s father, Maurice Cohen, who showed little emotion during the hearing, later told reporters: “My heart is ripped.”
They show 20 toss-up races, 16 of which are currently held by Democrats.
Federal prosecutors in New York charged that Cohen, just before the November 2016 election, paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 and helped arrange a $150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal so the women would keep quiet about their past relationships with Trump, who is married. Trump denies having the affairs.
Here is the relevant paragraphs from the press release about the deal:
“The Office also announced today that it has previously reached a non-prosecution agreement with AMI, in connection with AMI’s role in making the above-described $150,000 payment before the 2016 presidential election. As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election. AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.
“Assuming AMI’s continued compliance with the agreement, the Office has agreed not to prosecute AMI for its role in that payment. The agreement also acknowledges, among other things, AMI’s acceptance of responsibility, its substantial and important assistance in this investigation, and its agreement to provide cooperation in the future and implement specific improvements to its internal compliance to prevent future violations of the federal campaign finance laws. These improvements include distributing written standards regarding federal election laws to its employees and conducting annual training concerning these standards.”
Of the others on that list, Manafort has been convicted at trial but is yet to be sentenced.
So far, 36 people and entities have been charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
Of those, seven people pleaded guilty.
- George Papadopoulos
- Michael Flynn
- Paul Manafort
- Rick Gates
- Richard Pinedo
- Alex van der Zwaan
- Michael Cohen
There are now four who have been sentenced to prison:
- van der Zwaan
He is the statement from Cohen’s representative Lanny Davis about what he and his client and willing to talk about after Mr Mueller releases his final report.
After the Mueller investigation is over and the final report is issued, Cohen’s former lawyer Lanny Davis says that Cohen will “state publicly all he knows about Mr Trump.”
Cohen’s former attorney Lanny Davis has issued a statement defending Cohen, saying that Cohen “owned up to his mistakes and fully cooperated” with the Mueller probe.
Mr Davis notes that Mr Mueller gave Cohen credit for coming clean, but it’s unfortunate that the prosecution in this case did not do the same. “To me, their judgment showed a lack of appropriate proportionality,” Mr Davis writes.
A look back at Trump’s previous comments about Michael Cohen:
“Michael Cohen has been sentenced today, Donald Trump is next”
He repeatedly calls Cohen a lair and says he “deserves every day” of his three-year sentence
“He deserves every day of the 36-month sentence that he will serve.”
Mr Avenatti says that he and his client will not stop fighting to get the truth
He says Cohen is “no hero”
Cohen has just left the courthouse to clamouring journalists. He entered the car and left without comment.
Cohen’s family just walked out of court to a car, surrounded by security staff. There are around 100 photographers and journalists waiting for Cohen himself to leave.
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