An emotional Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, was sentenced Wednesday to 3 years after pleading guilty to nine federal charges stemming from his failure to report millions of dollars in income and making secret payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump.
One of the charges Cohen pleaded guilty to included a separate charge, stemming from Robert Mueller’s probe into Tump’s potential collusion with Russia, that he lied to Congress about his dealings with a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow.
Cohen, 52, appeared in the Manhattan federal courtroom Wednesday morning with his wife and children.
When standing before Judge William Pauley, Cohen said blind loyalty to Trump led him to “choose darkness over light.” He said he will work to prove history wrong and that he is not the villain in this investigation.
He appeared to tear up as he apologized to his family and to the people of the United States.
“I am truly sorry and I promise I will be better,” he said.
Pauley sentenced Cohen to 36 months for the eight charges from the Southern District and an additional two months for the Mueller charge, which will run concurrently. The judge added a $50,000 fine and said Cohen must turn himself in on March 6.
Cohen’s lawyers had previously argued against a prison sentence, citing his cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose office is investigating possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 presidential election.
Mueller’s office said last week it took no position on Cohen’s sentence but suggested it run concurrently with the sentence handed down in the New York case. A prosecutor on Mueller’s team told the judge Cohen was helpful but declined to offer further details because the investigation is ongoing.
In a sentencing memo filed by Mueller’s office, they said the attorney, 52, provided federal investigators with “relevant and useful” information about his contacts with people connected to Trump and the White House.
Mueller’s office also described how Cohen gave them detailed information on efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow at the height of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and told them about Russian nationals who tried to communicate with the president as he was campaigning.
mo on the eight charges he pleaded guilty to in August, prosecutors said Cohen’s assistance didn’t outweigh his “extensive” criminal conduct and pushed for a sentence of 51 to 63 months in jail, the usual federal sentence for his crimes. The sentencing guidelines also called for a term of up to six months in prison for the charge stemming from the Mueller probe.
“After cheating the IRS for years, lying to banks and to Congress, and seeking to criminally influence the Presidential election, Cohen’s decision to plead guilty — rather than seek a pardon for his manifold crimes — does not make him a hero,” prosecutors said.
Cohen’s lawyer, Guy Petrillo, told the judge on Wednesday that he is “a very good man” who came forward with evidence against the most powerful man in the United States without knowing what the result would be and that others should take courage from this and his cooperation and that it stands in contrast to others who did not cooperate.
Following the sentencing, another Cohen lawyer, Lanny Davis promised that his client would release everything he knows about the president once Mueller completes his investigation.