Michael Cohen punched back at Donald Trump while giving a prepared statement during his sentencing hearing today.
Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen’s day of reckoning came in a New York federal courthouse today during his sentencing hearing.
The hearing began with Cohen’s attorney, Guy Petrillo, addressing U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III followed by Special Counsel’s Office prosecutor Jeannie S. Rhee, and the Southern District of New York’s Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicolas Roos.
Legal reporter Adam Klasfeld was in attendance at the hearing, offering running commentary through his live tweets.
Below are Klasfeld’s tweets regarding Cohen’s statement, followed by his tweets regarding the judge’s remarks and sentencing.
- Cohen stands up and brings his prepared speech to the podium.
- Cohen: “I stand before your honor humbly and painfully aware that we are here for one reason.” “I take full responsibility for each act that I pleaded guilty to ….” including those implicating the “President of the United States of America.”
- Cohen began his remarks by stating that: “Today is the day that I am getting my freedom back.” … “I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired.”
- Hitting back at Trump’s tweet calling him weak, Cohen agreed and added that his “weakness was a blind loyalty to Donald Trump.”
CNN White House correspondent Abby D. Phillip elaborated on that portion of Cohen’s statement, tweeting:
- Cohen letting loose on Trump: “Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds”
Cohen letting loose on Trump: "Recently the president tweeted a statement calling me weak and it was correct but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds"
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) December 12, 2018
Returning to Klasfeld’s narrative:
- Cohen describes “seeing the unbearable pain that my associations and my actions brought to my entire family.” “This is why I did not enter into a cooperation agreement.”…
- “I have chosen this unorthodox path because the sooner that I am sentenced,” the sooner he can return to his family. “I do not need a cooperation agreement in place to do the right thing.”
- “The president of the United States, the most powerful man in the world,” mocks Cohen, he says, “calling me a rat.” He slams Trump for trying to influence proceeding[s] that “implicate” him.
- Tearing up, Cohen apologizes to the public: “You deserve to know the truth and lying to you was unjust.”
Below are his tweets regarding Judge Pauley’s statements:
- Pauley speaks — sentencing coming up soon. He reads the charges.
- Pauley talks about the “smorgasboard” of crimes involving “deception” and motivated by “personal greed and ambition.”
- Quoting Oliver Wendall Holmes, Pauley said of the tax-evasion charges: “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”
- Pauley notes that Cohen admitted that he made the illicit hush-money payments “at the coordination with and the direction of Individual-1.”
- “Each of these crimes standing alone warrant considerable punishment,” Pauley said.
- Pauley describes Cohen’s upbringing up to his employment by the Trump Organization. “He thrived on his access to wealthy and powerful people, and he became one himself,” he says.
- Pauley cites SCO’s statement that Cohen cooperated on “core topics under investigation” and the information that he has provided was “relevant and useful.”
- Pauley: “Our system of justice would be less robust without the use of cooperating agreements with law enforcement.”
- “As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better,” Pauley says, turning to the tax evasion, campaign finance, and false statement charges.
- Pauley: Cohen’s cooperation “does not wipe the slate clean.” “This court … believes a significant term of imprisonment” is justified, Pauley says.
- BREAKING: Cohen is sentenc[ed] to 36 months of imprisonment.
DEVELOPING STORY: Three year sentence for Michael Cohen. Much more to come soon. https://t.co/yHUwrfuKpp
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) December 12, 2018