- Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen has completed his criminal home imprisonment sentence.
- Cohen vowed to continue helping law enforcement investigate the former president, the Trump Organization and others in Trump’s orbit.
- The Manhattan resident, once counted among Trump’s most loyal employees, has become a prominent critic of the former president and a key witness in the investigation that still haunts Trump.
Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen completed his criminal home sentence on Monday — and vowed to continue helping law enforcement investigate Trump’s orbit of the former president, the Trump Organization and others.
Cohen, who was controversially put back in prison by federal officials last year after winning an initial furlough, also told CNBC that he would insist “to advance prison reform by any means”. Will stay
Cohen said in a statement after submitting paperwork to end his home confinement in Manhattan federal court, saying, “My release today is in no way at the behest of Donald J. Trump and for actions done to my advantage. denies.”
But it also doesn’t negate the behavior of the Justice Department, Cohen said, adding that Trump’s Attorney General William Barr, the federal prosecutor who filed criminal charges against him, his sentencing judge “or Donald Trump himself in my initial prosecution.”
A lawyer for Cohen has previously said that he appears to have been unjustly targeted and selectively prosecuted during the Trump administration. The lawyer also said that Cohen was not given credit for his sentence despite the cooperation of investigators, while others in the Trump Organization were not prosecuted by federal officials.
In his statement on Monday, Cohen said, “I am aware of my responsibilities and my release today will not nullify my commitment to law enforcement.”
“I will continue to testify, document and cooperate on all investigations to ensure that others are held accountable for their dirty deeds and that no one is held above the law,” he said.
The Manhattan resident, once counted among Trump’s most loyal employees, has in recent years become a prominent critic of the former president and a key witness in the criminal and civil investigations that still haunt Trump.
Those investigations include an investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, which in July criminally charged the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer Alan Weiselberg with a long-term plan to avoid paying taxes on executive compensation. Trump’s company and Weiselberg have pleaded not guilty in that case.
The DA’s office and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office are continuing an investigation based on Cohen’s allegations that the Trump Organization fraudulently misappropriated the value of real estate assets to win less tax liability and more favorable loan and insurance terms. Told. Cohen made the allegations during testimony to Congress.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal tax offenses, lying to Congress, and publicizing financial violations. The allegations related to the payment of money to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougall, to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump shortly before the 2016 presidential election. The former president denied the claims of the women.
Cohen admitted that he facilitated payments to Daniels and McDougall at Trump’s instructions. The Manhattan US Attorney’s Office has said that Trump, identified as “Personal-1” in charging documents, Cohen and directed him with the goal of influencing the outcome of the 2016 election.
However, the US Attorney’s Office never charged Trump with crimes related to that plan, despite Cohen being prosecuted for it.
Cohen, who was sacked for his crimes, was sentenced to three years in prison.
But he was imprisoned in the spring of 2020 after serving more than a year behind bars due to concerns of an increased risk from COVID-19 due to pre-existing health conditions.
Weeks after being released, Cohen was thrown back in prison after he refused a demand by federal probation officials that he not publish a planned book about Trump, or any other book, while in home confinement. I used to serve the balance of his punishment.
Trump was still president at the time, and his Attorney General Barr oversaw the Bureau of Prisons, the agency that ordered Cohen to be shut down again.
Cohen was released from prison within a few weeks when a federal judge ruled that his re-imprisonment was retaliatory.
Judge Alvin Hellerstein said at the time, “In my 21 years of being a judge and punishing people,” I have never seen such a clause prohibiting publication of the book.
The BOP denies retaliation against Cohen, whose book about Trump, “Disloyal,” became a bestseller.
Earlier this year, Cohen lost a bid to end his home confinement by seeking credit against his sentence as a result of work and educational courses completed in prison.
Cohen cited the First Step Act, a federal law signed by Trump that was mandated by the U.S. Attorney General by developing a system to assess the risk of reintegration of prisoners through educational programs and other means and reduce the size of the federal prison population. Tries to reduce
The judge, who denied Cohen’s effort, supported prosecutors’ argument that the First Steps Act program envisions a “phase-period” that would allow the BOP to develop tools to assess the risk of recurrence until January 15, 2022. will allow.
Cohen told CNBC that his continued efforts to reform U.S. prisons “will include ensuring that all federal inmates receive earned time credits pursuant to the Phase I Act, which takes effect Jan. 15.”