President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday, just days after directly implicating Trump in a felony stemming from hush-money payments to two women made just weeks before the 2016 election.
The sentencing marked the culmination of a months-long saga that began in April with a dramatic FBI raid on Cohen’s home and office and ended with Trump’s most loyal lieutenant and fixer—who once said he would take a bullet for his boss—turning against the president and implicating him directly in criminal misconduct. In Manhattan federal court on Wednesday, Cohen apologized to his family and to “the people of the United States.”...
New York prosecutors acknowledged that Cohen implicated Trump directly in the campaign-finance violations stemming from hush-money payments he made to the adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford—a.k.a. Stormy Daniels—and the former Playboy model Karen McDougal at the height of the election. The women had been planning to reveal that they’d had affairs with Trump more than a decade ago, which he denies. But Roos said on Wednesday that Cohen’s role in the campaign-finance violations was particularly “serious because of the tremendous societal costs,” and “in committing these crimes, Cohen has eroded faith in the electoral process.”
After initially denying he had any knowledge of the payments, Trump now says the payments were “a simple private transaction,” and that it’s Cohen’s “liability” if he made a mistake in carrying it out. Two other Trump associates who were involved in the payments—the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, and the CEO of American Media, David Pecker—were given immunity to testify about the scheme over the summer.
As part of the agreement, AMI admitted to making a $150,000 payment "in concert with" then-candidate Trump's presidential campaign to suppress a story about an alleged affair Trump had with former Playboy model Karen McDougal. The revelation that AMI is cooperating with investigators comes on the same day Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison on charges that include campaign finance violations. AMI's CEO David Pecker was granted immunity in the case in August.
Trump has been all over the map with these payments to the women he was screwing behind his wife's back and the appearance was that he wanted to get them paid off in order to not have his immorality looming over his presidential campaign. Michael Cohen and David Pecker both say that this was done in concert with Trump's campaign. Trump has gone from saying he didn't know anything about it to saying it was a private matter to saying it was Cohen's fault (this was before the David Pecker announcement).
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