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Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen gets 3 years in prison

(AP/WJBF) - President Donald Trump's former lawyer has been sentenced to three years in prison.

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said Wednesday that Michael Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion, lying to Congress and arranging illicit payments to silence women who posed a risk to Trump's presidential campaign.
  
The judge rejected arguments by Cohen's lawyers that he should be spared jail time because he cooperated in multiple federal investigations involving Trump.
  
Cohen said his "blind loyalty" to Trump made him feel a duty to "cover up" the president's "dirty deeds."
  
Cohen's crimes included evading $1.4 million in taxes and misleading Congress about his talks with Russians about a Trump skyscraper project in Moscow.
  
Trump had called for a tough sentence for Cohen, whom he labeled a liar.
  
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11:55 a.m.
  
President Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen says his "blind loyalty" to Trump led Cohen to "cover up his dirty deeds."
  
Cohen said at his sentencing Wednesday that he takes "full responsibility" for the crimes he admitted committing. But he went on to say his allegiance to Trump led him "to take a path of darkness instead of light."
  
Cohen has pleaded guilty to dodging taxes, lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws.
  
Cohen, who used to be the president's self-described fixer, could get about four to five years in prison.
  
His lawyer is arguing for leniency, noting Cohen's cooperation with prosecutors investigating whether Russians attempted to influence Trump's campaign.
  
But a prosecutor on the case against Cohen says Cohen's crimes showed a pattern of deceit, brazenness and greed.
  
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11:50 a.m.
  
A prosecutor with special counsel Robert Mueller's office says President Donald Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen "has provided consistent and credible information about core Russia-related issues under investigation."
  
Jeannie Rhee didn't elaborate on that information as she spoke Wednesday at Cohen's sentencing. But she did say that Cohen "has sought to tell us the truth, and that is of the utmost value to us."
  
The 52-year-old Cohen served as Trump's personal lawyer and self-described fixer. Cohen has pleaded guilty to dodging taxes, lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws.
  
Cohen could get about four to five years in prison, but his lawyer is arguing for leniency.
  
His attorney, Guy Petrillo, says Cohen "came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country" when he cooperated with prosecutors.
  
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11:25 a.m.
  
A defense lawyer says Michael Cohen "came forward to offer evidence against the most powerful person in our country" when he cooperated with prosecutors investigating whether Russians attempted to influence President Donald Trump's campaign.
  
Cohen's lawyer, Guy Petrillo, told a judge Wednesday that Cohen "stood up to power and influence."
  
Petrillo spoke as Cohen faced sentencing after pleading guilty to dodging taxes, lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws.
  
Cohen could get four to five years in prison, but his lawyers are arguing for leniency.
  
The 52-year-old served as Trump's personal lawyer.
  
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10:35 a.m.
  
The outspoken lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels has turned up at the federal courthouse in Manhattan where Michael Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced for crimes including a hush-money payment to the performer.
  
Michael Avenatti represented Daniels in a legal dispute with Cohen in which she sought to be released from the non-disclosure agreement.
  
Avenatti has bashed Cohen for months on cable television, saying President Donald Trump's former lawyer deserves to go to prison.
  
Cohen's sentencing will begin Wednesday at 11 a.m.
  
Cohen pleaded guilty to evading $1.4 million in taxes, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
  
Prosecutors say the $130,000 payment Cohen made to Daniels exceeded legal limits.
  
His lawyers say some of his crimes were motivated by overenthusiasm for Trump.
  
New York prosecutors have urged a judge to give Cohen substantial prison time.
  
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10:10 a.m.
  
President Donald Trump's former lawyer has arrived at the courthouse in Manhattan where he is scheduled to be sentenced for evading taxes, lying to Congress, bank fraud and campaign finance violations.
  
Michael Cohen was accompanied Wednesday by his wife and two college-aged children. He didn't stop to speak with a crowd of reporters.
  
Cohen is facing the possibility of four years in prison. His lawyers have asked for leniency.
  
They say some of his crimes were motivated by overenthusiasm for Trump.
  
New York prosecutors have urged a judge to give Cohen substantial prison time.
  
Cohen pleaded guilty to evading $1.4 million in taxes.
  
He also admitted misleading Congress about a Trump real estate project in Moscow and orchestrating prohibited payments to two women who said they had affairs with Trump.
  
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1:05 a.m.
  
A lawyer who made his career protecting President Donald Trump is set to learn whether cooperating with federal investigators will lessen his punishment for dodging taxes, lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws.
  
Michael Cohen's sentencing hearing is scheduled for 11 a.m. at a courthouse in Manhattan.
  
He could get around four years in prison. His lawyers have asked for leniency.
  
They say some of his crimes were motivated by overenthusiasm for Trump.
  
Cohen pleaded guilty to misleading Congress about a Trump real estate project in Moscow and orchestrating prohibited payments to two women who said they had affairs with Trump.
  
Cohen also dodged $1.4 million in taxes.
  
New York prosecutors have urged a judge to give Cohen a substantial prison term.


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