It hasn’t been a good week for Team Trump.
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, has been sentenced to three years in prison for tax fraud and lying to federal officials about the president’s pay-offs to women and his business connections to Russia.
Cohen’s prison time is the worst punishment Trump associates have received to date, but Cohen may have gotten off easy. Federal prosecutors wanted four years or more.
In addition to the time he will serve beginning March 6, Cohen will pay nearly $1.4 million in restitution and forfeit half a million dollars in assets.
Cohen was emotional at the sentencing, telling the judge, “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.”
Rudy Giuliani, the president’s current personal lawyer, responded to the charges in a statement to Politico.
“This is the real criminal sentence,” Giuliani told POLITICO. “I have no idea if it’s the right one or not, but I do know he’s proven to be a consummate liar who has lied at all stages of his situation.”
In other legal news for Team Trump, a federal judge in Washington has scheduled, at prosecutors’ request, a Wednesday hearing for Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman. Manafort’s prosecutors claim that he lied to the FBI in breach of his plea agreement on a number of topics, including his contacts with members of the Trump administration and his dealings with Konstantin Kilimnik, with whom he used to work on political consulting projects in Ukraine. Kilimnik is at large and the FBI suspects him of having ties to Russian intelligence.
So far, the Mueller investigation has resulted in charges for 36 people and entities. Seven people have pleaded guilty, four people have been sentenced to prison, and one person has been convicted at trial.