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In the Hot Seat

Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison

President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for his role in the hush-money deal to buy the silence of two women whom stated that they had affairs with Trump. 

Trump denied knowing about the payments and then stated that he did know about it. He stated that the payments were “private transactions” and not related to the election.

Trump mocked Cohen as being a “weak person” who was just providing prosecutors with information.

At first, Cohen did not cooperate with prosecutors at the attorney’s office in Manhattan. The charges included, campaign-finance violations, tax evasion, bank fraud, and making false statements to Congress, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times reported, “He took a calculated gamble in pleading guilty to this litany of federal crimes without first entering into a cooperation agreement with the government. He offered to help prosecutors, but only on his terms, and there were some subjects he declined to discuss.”

Cohen’s lawyers argued that he should not serve time in prison. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said that he deserved around four years.

According to New York Times, “Judge William H. Pauley III called Mr. Cohen’s crimes a “veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct” andadded, “Each of the crimes involved deception and each appears to have been motivated by personal greed and ambition.”

He added that Mr. Cohen’s particular crimes — breaking campaign finance laws, tax evasion and lying to Congress — “implicate a far more insidious harm to our democratic institutions.”

“As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better,” the judge said.”

Before sentenced, Cohen stated the following, ““I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today,”he said, “and it was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man” — a reference to Mr. Trump — “that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

Mr.Cohen then apologized to the public: “You deserve to know the truth and lying to you was unjust.””

At first, Trump denied knowing anything about the payments; however, then changed his word stating that he did know about them. He insisted that they were private transactions that were not election related.

Trump continued to say that if they were hush-money payments were campaign transactions would be in violation of election law.

Since Cohen was in the spotlight, Trump has mocked him as a weak person who is just providing information to the Muller investigation.

Judge Pauley sentenced Cohen to three years in New York and two months for lying to Congress which would be served at the same time. Cohen was also asked to pay $2 million in fines for forfeitures and restitution. Cohen will start serving his sentence on March 6, 2019.

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