Michael Cohen, guardian of President Donald Trump’s personal and business secrets, will go to prison, but has vowed to continue providing potentially damaging information to special prosecutor Robert Mueller and other judicial authorities.
After cooperating half-heartedly with prosecutors, Cohen did not gain the indulgence he sought. Yesterday was sentenced to three years in prison, in a trial in which he spoke with a notorious emotion, surrounded by relatives and in a very critical tone to the president. Although he accepted full responsibility for his crimes, he described the burden of his role as manager of Trump’s businesses, and later of his campaign. “It was my duty to cover up their dirty actions,” he said.
Cohen described his complex relationship with the president, which included payments for silence on the eve of the 2016 presidential election to two women who claimed to have had relations with Trump. He did not offer new revelations about dual investigations that are ongoing in Washington and New York regarding Russia’s interference in elections and violations of campaign financing laws.
The White House did not comment immediately.
Cohen’s commitment to continue helping prosecutors adds to other indications that the special lawyer is gaining valuable clues in his investigation into Russia’s attempts to tilt the election in Trump’s favor. On Tuesday, lawyers for Trump’s national security consultant, Michael Flynn, said his client had met with prosecutors 19 times and had delivered thousands of pages of documents.
Although Mueller prosecutors claimed that Cohen assisted in the central investigation into Russia, federal prosecutors in Manhattan criticized him for withholding information. By requesting a lighter sentence, Cohen’s lawyer committed himself to the court that his client would continue to assist the inquiries, which could continue for years.