Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen, off to prison, says still 'much to be told'
NEW YORK, USA – Donald Trump's one-time personal lawyer Michael Cohen headed to prison Monday, May 6, saying he still had more to tell, after being sentenced to 3 years for what he says was following his boss's orders.
Cohen, 52, was sentenced to prison in December after admitting he paid hush money during the 2016 presidential election – in violation of electoral laws – to two women who said they had had affairs with Trump, committed tax fraud, and lied to Congress.
"There still remains much to be told. And I look forward to the day that I can share the truth," he told reporters as he left his Manhattan residence for the federal prison in Otisville, New York.
"I hope when I rejoin my family and friends that the country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice, and lies at the helm of our country," he said.
Once vice president and key problem-fixer at the Trump Organization, Cohen fell out with the president after telling prosecutors and Congress that he was ordered to make the hush payments by Trump himself.
Cohen worked for the real estate tycoon for a decade and insists that all reprehensible acts took place at the behest of the president.
"I didn't work for the campaign. I worked for him. And how come I'm the one that's going to prison? I'm not the one that slept with the porn star," Cohen said in an interview with The New Yorker, referring to one of the women who benefitted from the hush payments.
Cohen, a father of two children in their 20s, had hoped until the last moment that his sentence would be reduced, offering information to investigators that could compromise Trump and his family.
Yet, despite his readiness to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling, prosecutors would not budge.
Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis said Friday, May 3, that the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, should have gone to prison since he "signed hush-money checks."
Book and film deal?
For the American president and his allies, Cohen's prison sentence has the taste of payback after the one-time attorney turned on his boss.
Trump called him "weak" and a "rat" ready to make up any lies necessary to avoid prison.
Cohen, who has been disbarred and is running out of cash, has not said his last word.
When he spoke to lawmakers earlier this year, he mentioned plans to write a book and have his experiences made into a film.
In doing so, he would be following the example of Richard Nixon's former lawyer John Dean, who pleaded guilty for having bought the silence of the Watergate scandal burglars, and then wrote a book about his experience.
The Otisville prison conditions should allow Cohen to spend at least some time on such projects.
He is due to be held in the detention center's low-security "camp," which holds detainees who are not considered to be dangerous, including many other white-collar criminals.
Practicing Jews like Cohen who are sentenced to federal prison often request to be placed at Otisville because it provides kosher meals and detainees are allowed to follow the Shabbat day of rest.
The 120-some prisoners of this wing of the center can use libraries, as well as basketball and tennis courts, while wearing their beige uniforms. – Rappler.com