Background and Trial
Former President Trump’s onetime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, was denied early release from his probation by U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman in Manhattan. Cohen, who served a three-year prison term, has been a key witness against Trump in his New York state indictment.
Cohen pleaded guilty to several charges in 2018, which included tax evasion, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress and banks to secure campaign financing. As a result, he was sentenced to three years in prison.
Recent Comments by Cohen and Judge’s Decision
Judge Furman justified his decision by citing Cohen’s recent comments, pointing out that he had continued to lie. In March, Cohen claimed in a book and on television that he hadn’t committed tax fraud and that his charges were “all 100 percent inaccurate.” Moreover, Cohen allegedly stated that he was “threatened” by prosecutors into pleading guilty.
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Cohen’s Rehabilitation and Lawyer’s Claims
Cohen’s lawyer, David M. Schwartz, argued that his client had demonstrated rehabilitation and was a “model prisoner” who had cooperated considerably with government authorities.
Cohen’s Role as a Regular Cable News Contributor and Critic of Trump
Cohen is known for being a regular guest on cable news shows, where he often gives his opinion on Trump. He has also released two memoirs, “Disloyal” in 2020 and “Revenge” in 2022, in which he speaks out against Trump. Cohen worked as Trump’s personal lawyer for over a decade before their relationship soured.
Impact of Cohen’s Testimony on New York Prosecutors’ Indictment
New York prosecutors heavily relied on Cohen’s testimony before indicting Trump on 34 charges earlier this year. These charges are related to alleged hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. Federal prosecutors had previously declined to bring charges against Trump, who has pleaded not guilty.
Serving Sentence at Home Due to COVID-19 Outbreak
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Cohen ended up serving almost two-thirds of his three-year prison sentence at home.
Cohen’s Statement Expected
Cohen is expected to issue a statement on Monday, according to his recent remarks to the Associated Press.