Nov 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump's ex-personal lawyer Michael Cohen freed from prison sentence

Photo of Michael Cohen sitting in a car with photographers surrounding him

Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for former President Trump, May 6, 2019. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former President Trump's ex-personal lawyer Michael Cohen was officially freed from his prison sentence on Monday, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Cohen received the three-year sentence after pleading guilty to nine federal crimes, including lying to Congress in the Mueller investigation and campaign finance violations related to payments he facilitated to two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with Trump.

  • Cohen served some of his time in prison beginning in 2019, but he has spent the last year under house arrest in his New York apartment.

What he's saying: Cohen will be under supervised release for three years, he told reporters outside the New York federal courthouse, per CNN.

  • "My release today in no way negates the actions I took at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald J. Trump," Cohen said.
  • "But it also does not negate the behavior of the Justice Department, Bill Barr, the Southern District of New York Prosecutors, Judge William H. Pauley the third, or Donald himself, in my initial incarceration and prosecution."
  • "I will continue to provide information testimony documents and my full cooperation on all ongoing investigations to ensure that others are held responsible for their dirty deeds and that no one is ever believed to be above the law," he added.

The big picture: Cohen remained loyal to Trump until the FBI raided his home, office and hotel room at the Regency in New York in April 2018.

  • In a 2019 testimony before the House Oversight Committee, Cohen said Trump was "becoming an autocrat" and claimed that the Trump Organization bore a culture of threatening people who could jeopardize Trump's status.
  • "Every day, most of us knew we were coming in and we were going to lie for him on something. And that became the norm. ... It's exactly what's happening here in government, sir."
  • Cohen became a registered Democrat in 2018.

Go deeper: Michael Cohen has turned on Trump

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