The next chapter in Michael Cohen’s legal tribulations began Monday when President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney reported to a federal corrections facility in Otisville, New York, to serve out a three-year sentence.
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Cohen, 52, pleaded guilty late last year to charges of lying to Congress about a prospective Trump Tower-Moscow project, campaign finance violations related to payments he made to two women at President Trump’s behest, and a slew of financial crimes.
Departing his home in Manhattan on Monday, Cohen teased that “there still remains much to be told.”
“I hope when I rejoin my family and friends that the country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice, and lies at the helm of our country,” Cohen said.
The longtime former fixer who once said he “would take a bullet" for the president publicly split with Trump, a man for whom he worked for over a decade, in July 2018 when he told ABC News his “family and country” had his first loyalty.
“I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy,” Cohen said at the time. “I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.”
Since then, Cohen has testified before three congressional committees and cooperated in a handful state and federal of investigations targeting Trump, his business empire, his charitable foundation, and his associates – including special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Prior to his sentencing, the special counsel’s office credited Cohen with providing “wide ranging and helpful” information on matters related to its probe, and Mueller cited Cohen’s testimony dozens of times in his 448-page report.
In a statement released Monday, an attorney for Cohen, Lanny Davis, said Cohen "will continue to be accessible to Congress and to federal, state, and local law enforcement."
Last month, Davis lobbed a last-ditch effort to delay or reduce his client’s incarceration, pleading with House Democrats to intervene on his behalf, but to no avail.
President Trump, for his part, has taken to calling his longtime personal attorney a “bad lawyer and fraudster,” a “liar,” and a “rat” who “did bad things unrelated to Trump.”
But two of Cohen’s crimes related directly to Trump, and federal prosecutors implicated the president in one of them, alleging in court documents that Trump, at the time a candidate, directed Cohen to make payments in an effort to silence adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal.
Cohen also pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow that the president's real estate company was pursuing at the same time he was running for president.
In addition to his imprisonment, Cohen will have to pay $1.39 million in restitution plus $500,000 in forfeiture for the financial and campaign finance crimes. He will face an additional fine of $50,000 for lying to Congress.