Michael Cohen sentenced to 36 months
BREAKING via NBC News and CNN: Michael Cohen has been sentenced to 36 months, about the median under sentencing guidelines, for violations of campaign finance laws and lying to Congress. He will be remanded to prison at a later date. Judge William Pauley gave him 36 months for the guilty plea to charges filed by the Southern District of New York and two months for the guilty plea to charges filed by the Offics of Special Counsel, to be served concurrently.
Prosecutors had recommended a “substantial term of imprisonment” for Cohen… [and] say they believe Cohen committed illegal acts at the direction of Mr. Trump, named “Individual 1” in court filings. Mr. Trump has disowned Cohen, calling him “not very smart.” …
Both special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and prosecutors in the Southern District of New York leveled cases against Cohen, whose relationship with the president has soured as Cohen turned on the president. When Cohen’s apartment and office were raided in April, the president called him a “good man,” and the raid, a “disgraceful situation.”
Mr. Trump has given no indication that he would pardon Cohen, even as he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of pardoning his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Manafort has pleaded guilty to fraud counts related to his business transactions, but Mr. Trump has praised him.
Cohen has been ordered to surrender on March 6. The judge agreed to recommend Otisville prison, in upstate New York, as the prison where Cohen will spend time.
Two takeaways: first, the sentence in effect nullifies Donald J. Trump’s argument that the wrongdoing is a mere matter of sloppy “process”. Second, the sentence should send a chilling message to those in Trump’s circle who have lied to Congress or law enforcement professionals that their failure to be completely and fastidiously honest will have severe consequences.