Cohen Loses Freedom Bid, Gets Tongue-Lashing From Judge

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A federal judge rejected a bid by former personal Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen to be released early from his three-year prison sentence, reports Politico. Cohen has been seeking a sentence reduction since last year, arguing prosecutors refused to accept his cooperation because doing so would implicate President Trump in crimes. The former Trump fixer made entreaties to Congress to bolster his credibility as a whistleblower and lighten his sentence, most famously at a House hearing in February 2019. More recently, Cohen’s attorney argued his client was at risk because of the coronavirus outbreak.

U.S. District Judge William Pauley gave Cohen a tongue-lashing for refusing to come to terms with the gravity of the charges he admitted to a year and a half ago. “Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accepts the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far reaching institutional harms,” Pauley wrote. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 in separate cases brought by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan and special counsel Robert Mueller. One included tax evasion charges and allegations that he arranged illegal campaign contributions in 2016 of hush money payments to two women to suppress stories about alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen also admitted making false statements to Congress to minimize Trump’s involvement in a real estate development in Russia during the 2016 campaign.

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