A federal judge has resoundingly rejected a bid by President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen to be released early from his three-year prison sentence. Cohen has been seeking a sentence reduction since last year, arguing that prosecutors were refusing to accept his cooperation because doing so would implicate Trump in crimes.
The former Trump personal lawyer and fixer also made a series of entreaties to Congress to try to bolster his credibility as a whistleblower and lighten his sentence, most famously at a widely-viewed House hearing in February 2019.
More recently, Cohen’s attorney argued that his client was at risk because of the coronavirus outbreak.
However, U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley on Tuesday turned down the request and gave Cohen a tongue-lashing for refusing to come to terms with the gravity of the tax fraud, campaign finance and false statement charges Cohen pleaded guilty to about a year-and-a-half ago.
“Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far reaching institutional harms,” Pauley wrote in a two-page order.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to separate cases brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
One of the cases included run-of-the-mill tax evasion charges as well as more spectacular allegations that Cohen orchestrated illegal campaign contributions in 2016 by arranging payments of hush money to two women to suppress stories about alleged sexual affairs with Trump. The president has denied the affairs.
In the other case, Cohen admitted to making false statements to Congress in a bid to minimize Trump’s ongoing involvement in pursuing a real estate development project in Russia at the height of the 2016 campaign.
Trump dismissed Cohen’s admissions as lies designed to win favorable treatment from prosecutors.
“He’s lying, very simply, to get a reduced sentence,” Trump said in November 2018.
You can follow us on social media at www.twitter.com/HighlightHwd or on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Highlight-Hollywood/193119760769011
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
Follow us on Twitter @HighlightHwd or @LightfootinHwd