By: Clare Hymes, Paula Reid, Kathryn Watson of CBS
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, during a sentencing hearing in federal court in Manhattan in which Cohen claimed he acted out of “blind loyalty” to President Trump. The judge declared he will serve time for a “smorgasbord” of fraudulent crimes.
Cohen will turn himself in for his “smorgasbord” of fraudulent crimes March 6, the judge said.
That sentencing stemmed from Cohen pleading guilty to campaign finance violations related to payments to women alleging affairs with Mr. Trump. Cohen will serve his term concurrently with a two-month sentenced imposed for lying to Congress over a proposed Trump Tower Moscow project, a charge brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. The court is fining him $50,000 each for the separate cases.
In court Wednesday, Cohen claimed loyalty to Mr. Trump led him to “take a path of darkness instead of light.” Cohen described being in a “mental and physical incarceration,” blaming his ties to the president as what brought him before the court Wednesday. He spoke of the president’s recent attacks on him in which he called him a “liar,” “rat” and weak. He said the president was “correct,” but for a different reason.
“My weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump, and I was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands,” Cohen said.
Cohen claimed he was “motivated by personal greed and ambition,” adding that he “thrives on his access to wealthy and powerful people,” and eventually became one his self.
Cohen teared up at the podium, apologizing to his family and to the American people for his actions. As he was given 36 months by the judge, Cohen’s shoulders slumped forward slightly and he shook his head from left to right, apparently in disbelief.
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