“I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” he said.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018 – Foley Square, Manhattan, NY – APB News – By Staff Writer
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s once pit bull personal lawyer and all-around brass knuckle fixer, was sentenced to three years in prison for allowing what he said was his “blind loyalty” to the president which lead him astray. “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” he said.
Standing alone at the defense table, Cohen, 52, shook his head slightly and closed his eyes as the judge pronounced the sentence for crimes that included lying about the Trump Organization business dealings in Russia and funneling hush money to two women who said they had an affair with Trump – these payments that both Cohen and federal prosecutors said were made at the president’s request, direction and knowledge .
Cohen is the first, so far, the only member of Trump’s private circle during two years of investigations to go into open court and implicate the president in a crime, though whether a sitting president can be prosecuted under the Constitution is an open question.
U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved some credit for his decision over the summer to admit guilt and cooperate in the federal investigation of efforts by Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election, but his assistance “does not wipe the slate clean.”
“Somewhere along the way Mr. Cohen appears to have lost his moral compass,” the judge said. “As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better.”
The sentence was in line with what federal prosecutors asked for. Sentencing guidelines called for around four to five years in a federal penitentiary, as the government asked in court papers that Cohen be given only a slight break. He was ordered to surrender March 6, 2019 and left court without comment to the media waiting out front.
“It was my blind loyalty to this man that led me to take a path of darkness instead of light,” Cohen, a man who once boasted he would “take a bullet” for Trump, told the judge before the sentence came down. “I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”
Cohen got choked up near the end of his remarks and paused briefly to compose himself. His daughter, seated behind him, sobbed throughout. As he returned to his seat, he ran his hand across her cheek.
Cohen’s lawyers had argued for leniency, saying he decided to cooperate with investigators rather than hold out for a possible pardon.