New York: Michael Cohen, the former attorney of United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday was sentenced to three years in prison for a series of federal crimes he committed while working for the US President.
A New York court awarded the prison sentence to Cohen, who once said that he “would take a bullet for Trump”. The 52-year-old lawyer admitted to lying to Congress, violating campaign finance laws and tax evasion, CNN reported.
“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.
Cohen was ordered to pay USD 1.39 million in restitution, forfeit USD 500,000 and cough up an additional USD 50,000 fine by US District Judge William Pauley. The judge also ordered the lawyer to surrender himself to the authorities by March 6 next year.
Although Cohen admitted to the crimes he committed, he continued his tirade against Trump, saying he was living in a “personal and mental” prison since he started working for him and acknowledged that he was doing his duty to cover up the “dirty deeds” of the US President.
“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. This may seem hard to believe, but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life. I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired,” the attorney said in a statement.
Cohen, thus, became the member of Trump’s “inner circle” to be handed a prison sentence in connection to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
In August, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges — two campaign finance violations over the payments of the hush agreements he had orchestrated to former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film star Stormy Daniels during Trump’s election campaign to stay silent about their alleged sexual encounters with the US President. This also includes five counts of tax fraud and one count of making inaccurate statements to a bank. For these federal crimes, the New York court sentenced the lawyer to three years of jail term, as per the report.
Last month, Cohen also pleaded guilty to a charge from Mueller’s office of lying to the US Congress about how long the duration of deliberations involving a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow was extended into the campaign.
Prior to the sentencing, prosecutors had asserted that Cohen should receive “substantial prison time” for the crimes, despite cooperating with law enforcement investigations, which also includes Mueller’s Russia probe.