The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.

A federal judge sentenced Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, to three years in prison for a variety of crimes, including Trump-directed felonies intended to influence the 2016 election.

“Mr. Cohen pled guilty to a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct,” Judge William H. Pauley said at the sentencing hearing.

The judge rejected Cohen’s plea for a lighter sentence of no jail time, saying that the nature of Cohen’s crimes call for jail time and to send a signal about general deterrence.

“Mr. Cohen’s crimes implicate a far more insidious crime to our democratic institutions especially in view of his subsequent plea to making false statements to Congress,” Judge Pauley said.

In addition to tax fraud, Cohen pleaded guilty to working with Trump in a scheme to secretly pay hush money to two of Trump’s mistresses. The goal of the payoff was to influence the 2016 election, fearing Trump’s multiple affairs, including an affair immediately after his wife gave birth to their child, could impact Trump’s chances in the election.

The payoffs amounted to illegal campaign contributions, which both Cohen and Trump repeatedly lied about.

In addition, the judge sentenced Cohen to two months in prison for lying to Congress, which he will serve concurrently with his 3-year sentence.

In addition to jail time, Cohen must forfeit $500,000 in assets, pay $1.4 million in restitution, and pay a fine of $50,000, according to Bloomberg.

Even though Trump himself is implicated in the crimes, many Republican lawmakers spent the last few days downplaying the importance of such criminal activities. The judge in the case obviously took the felonies much more seriously.

In a now-deleted 2015 Tweet, Cohen mocked Hillary Clinton, saying, “when you go to prison for defrauding American and perjury, your room and board will be free!”

Cohen reports for his prison sentence on March 6, 2019.

Hillary Clinton will spend that day doing whatever she wants, as she is not a criminal.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

Header image source.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Judge Alexis G. Krot

Judge Alexis G. Krot shouted at Burhan Chowdhury, a 72 year old cancer patient whom local police cited for not maintaining his yard. “If I could give you jail time on this I would,” the Michigan jurist warned Chowdhury.

A cancer diagnosis doesn’t buy much more leniency in other courtrooms. In 2020, a judge in Pennsylvania sentenced Ashley Menser, a 36 year old in need of a hysterectomy for ovarian and cervical cancer, to a 10 month term.

Keep reading... Show less

Donald Trump, left, and Joe Biden

Photo by Andrea Widburg

America's political media — and especially our "punditocracy" — suffer from myriad defects. They love simple answers and often seem hostile to complexity. They tend to obsess slavishly over the latest polling data. And they suffer from a chronic amnesia that erases not only historical context but even very recent events from their narrow minds.

Marking the end of President Joe Biden's first year in office, the media consensus followed a predictable and familiar framing. After 12 months, with the coronavirus pandemic continuing, his legislative agenda incomplete and his approval ratings in steep decline, Biden was all but declared a failure — with no clear way forward.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}