The special counsel Robert Mueller’s probing into the Russian meddling in 2016 US presidential elections is progressing at a faster pace, with the federal court sentencing the first member of Donald Trump’s inner circle, Michael Cohen, on Wednesday.
The former personal attorney of the US President has been sentenced to 3 years in the federal prison, after pleading guilty to giving misstatements to Congress, financial crimes and campaign finance violations.
In Manhattan federal court, US District Judge William H Pauley III sentenced Cohen to 36 months in prison, on the basis of eight federal charges he pleaded guilty to in August. The crimes included tax fraud and his role in the payment of hush money to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who alleged to have affair with Donald Trump.
Cohen’s sentence also involves an additional two-months to be served for a simultaneously for a single charge of lying to the Senate and House intelligence committees in 2017, about the plans to venture into a Trump property in Moscow.
In late November, Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty to the charge of lying to Congress, as a part of a deal with Mueller that guarantees his cooperation in the ongoing Russia investigation.
The president’s former lawyer and fixer has been ordered to pay a$1.4 million in restitution, $500,000 in forfeiture, and fine of $50,000. He will have to surrender to federal authorities on March 6, 2019.
The sentencing came as an end to the chapter of Michael Cohen in the scrutiny by Robert Mueller. However, the attention on the potential legal uncertainty over Donald Trump still remains.
“Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak, and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying,” Cohen said, before the federal court on Wednesday. “It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”
He also informed that he has been in “personal and mental incarceration” since accepting a job with Trump.
The attorney of Michael Cohen, Lanny Davis said that his client will disclose more information concerning the US President, once Mueller closes his investigation.
Michael Cohen had always defended the interests of Donald Trump, even using foul threats and secret payoffs, during the period he served as the president’s lawyer and “fixer”.
However, relations between the two are on a complete different level now. Cohen’s sentencing has come as an apparent milestone, bringing US closer towards the end of the investigation. Moreover, Davis’ declaration that Cohen has more to say about the President, has escalated the risks for Donald Trump.
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