Friday, February 3, 2023

Michael Cohen ends prison term after Trump crimes

NEW YORK (AP) – Michael Cohen, who was former President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer prior to his 2018 arrest, said on Monday that his three-year prison sentence, mostly spent in home confinement, had expired as he inflicted another blow to your former boss. and promised to continue cooperation with law enforcement agencies.

Smiling Cohen stepped out of federal court in Manhattan after signing papers and speaking with authorities about his upcoming three-year supervised release.

“I feel great today.“ It’s high time, ”Cohen told the crew, alerted to his presence in a tweet he sent on Sunday.

Cohen was sentenced to prison in December 2018 after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress among other crimes. In total, he spent about 13 and a half months outside the prison and a year and a half in home confinement. His time was cut even further by good behavior.

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Campaign finance charges were brought after he helped arrange payments during the 2016 presidential race to prevent porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal from publicly claiming extramarital affairs with Trump. Trump has denied his deeds.

At the time, he blamed Trump for campaign finance, as he did again on Monday when he said that his release from home confinement “in no way negates the actions I have taken under Donald Trump’s leadership and in his best interest. “

He said that he is “aware of my responsibilities” and “will not give up his commitment to law enforcement.”

“I will continue to provide information, testimony, documents and fully cooperate with all ongoing investigations to ensure that others are held accountable for their dirty deeds and that no one is ever considered above the law,” Cohen said.

Before sentencing, Cohen sought leniency by claiming that he cooperated fully with prosecutors, including with an investigation by Special Adviser Robert Mueller into possible foreign influence in the 2016 elections.

One of Mueller’s accusers, Jeannie Rea, said in court that Cohen “provided consistent and credible information on the main Russian-related issues being investigated.” But federal prosecutors in Manhattan said he never fully cooperated with them and did not achieve a significant reduction in the sentence.

Cohen, who showed up in jail in May 2019, was released under house arrest about a year after authorities released low-risk prisoners during the coronavirus outbreak in federal prisons.

He was returned to jail a few weeks later before a judge ordered his return to home confinement, stating that his return to jail was clearly intended to punish him for his plan to publish his book, The Wrong: The True Story of Michael Cohen, Former Personal Attorney President Donald Trump “.

“How can I conclude other than that this is a retaliation?” Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said. Prosecutors insisted that the probation officers were unaware of the book when they wrote the home confinement clause, which severely limited Cohen’s communication with the public.

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