President Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer is headed to prison after a federal judge handed down a three-year sentence for a “veritable smorgasbord” of crimes, including tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations Wednesday. It is perhaps an unsurprising end after Cohen pled guilty to eight criminal counts back in August, including work paying off women to hide Trump’s extramarital affairs.
Though the President praised Cohen back in April, calling him a “fine person with a wonderful family” and tweeting “Michael is a businessman for his own account/lawyer who I have always liked & respected,” the relationship soured as it became clear Cohen would cooperate with the special counsel to the detriment of the President. The President is now calling Cohen a liar, among other insults.
Last month when asked why Trump had kept Cohen as his personal attorney for over a decade if he was so incompetent, the president responded, “a long time ago he did me a favor.”
We now have a better idea what kind of “favors” Cohen did for Trump. On the same day as Cohen’s sentencing, the National Enquirer’s parent company, American Media Inc. (AMI), admitted they were part of the hush-money scheme concocted with the help of none other than Michael Cohen. As part of a deal with the government, the company admitted it paid $150,000 to Karen McDougal before the 2016 election to silence her allegations of an affair with Trump.
For those who follow the Trump scandals closely, this was not major news. It has been widely reported for years that the National Enquirer bought off Trump accusers during the presidential election, though previously AMI claimed it “has not paid people to kill damaging stories about Mr. Trump.” The sudden admission signals AMI chief executive David Pecker is willing to go against Trump, who he had a close relationship with.
As for Cohen, even behind bars, the disgraced former attorney will be a thorn in the President’s side. Cohen’s former lawyer, Lanny Davis, promised that his client would release everything he knows about the president once Mueller completes his investigation. “It’s just beginning,” he told NBC News.