US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced by a federal judge to three years in prison on Wednesday on multiple charges including campaign funding law violation.
Cohen, 52, was pronounced guilty after he took full responsibility of the crimes “including those implicating the President of the United States of America.” He admitted lying to Congress about a possible Trump Tower project in Moscow, campaign finance violations, tax evasion and arranging payments to silence Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal who posed a risk to Trump’s presidential campaign. Both women admitted that they had sex with Trump in the prior decade. The White House has refuted all the reports claiming Trump had sex with either woman.
“It was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds,” Cohen said before US District Judge William H. Pauley III, reported BBC.
He added that Trump persuaded him to follow a path of darkness rather than light. He told the court following Donald Trump blindly was his biggest mistake.
“While Mr. Cohen is taking steps to mitigate his criminal conduct by pleading guilty and volunteering useful information to prosecutors, that does not wipe the slate clean,” U.S. District Judge William H Pauley III said at the sentencing.
He added that Cohen’s particular crimes which include breaking campaign finance laws, tax evasion and lying to Congress implicate a far more insidious harm to the country’s democratic institutions.
“As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better,” the judge said.
Cohen will begin his sentence on 6 March 2019. He has also been ordered to forfeit $500,000, restitute $1.4m, and pay a $50,000 fine.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is continuing to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination by the Trump campaign. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.