Michael Cohen sentenced to 3 years in federal prison

“My weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump, and I was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands.”

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President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison for tax evasion, making false statements to a federally insured bank, and campaign finance violations. In a separate prosecution brought by the Special Counsel’s Office, Cohen was convicted of making false statements to the U.S. Congress and sentenced Wednesday to a two-month concurrent sentence.

Between 2012 and 2016, Cohen concealed more than $4 million in personal income from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), avoiding more than $1.3 million in income tax.  He also made false statements to a federally insured financial institution to obtain a $500,000 home equity loan.

While serving as Trump’s attorney during the 2016 presidential election, Cohen orchestrated a $150,000 payment from American Media Inc. to former Playboy playmate, Karen McDougal. Cohen also made a $130,000 payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels in order to silence rumors of alleged affairs with the presidential candidate while Melania Trump had been pregnant.

On August 21, Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, making false statements to a federally-insured bank, and campaign finance violations. According to his plea, Cohen concealed more than $4 million in personal income from the IRS, made false statements to a federally-insured financial institution in connection with a $500,000 home equity loan, and, in 2016, caused $280,000 in payments to be made to silence two women who otherwise planned to speak publicly about their alleged affairs with a presidential candidate, thereby intending to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Last month, Cohen pleaded guilty to separate charges brought by the Special Counsel’s Office of making false statements to Congress regarding plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign. According to Cohen, Trump was attempting to attain funding from Russian officials for a Trump Tower in Moscow while simultaneously running for U.S. president.

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On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Pauley III sentenced Cohen to three years in federal prison for tax evasion, making false statements to a federally insured bank, and campaign finance violations. Cohen also received a two-month concurrent sentence for lying to Congress.

In addition to the sentence of imprisonment, Judge Pauley also ordered Cohen to pay a fine of $50,000, to forfeit $500,000, to pay $1,393,858 in restitution to the IRS, and to pay a mandatory $800 special assessment. Separately, Cohen was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and to pay a $100 special assessment in the case brought by Robert Mueller’s office. Cohen was also sentenced to concurrent three-year terms of supervised release in both cases, to follow his term of imprisonment.

“My weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump, and I was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands,” Cohen said at his sentencing on Wednesday.

“At the appropriate time, after Mr. Mueller completes his investigation and issues his final report, I look forward to assisting Michael to state publicly all he knows about Mr. Trump – and that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies,” Davis said in a statement to CBS News. “ Mr. Trump’s repeated lies cannot contradict stubborn facts.”

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