THE WHITE HOUSE — Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, arrived at a federal prison in upstate New York late Monday morning to begin serving a 3-year sentence for campaign finance violations and tax evasion.
Cohen is serving his sentence at the federal prison in Otisville, N.Y., which caters to the needs of Jewish inmates, offering Passover seders in the prison cafeteria, religious classes and Shabbat services. Otisville is located about 70 miles northwest of Manhattan.
Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging hush-money payments totaling over a quarter of a million dollars just days before the November 2016 presidential election to two women with whom Trump is alleged to have had affairs. Trump denies having an affair with either of the women, adult film actress Stormy Daniels (a.k.a Stephanie Clifford) and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Cohen admitted in federal court in Manhattan that he had paid the hush money “in coordination and at the direction of Individual-1.” Individual-1 is widely understood to be the president.
Late in 2018, Cohen met multiple times with federal prosecutors and in the Southern District of New York and in the office of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Last December, Trump called Cohen a “rat” on Twitter — even though the lawyer had been so loyal to his client that Cohen famously told Vanity Fair that he “would take a bullet for the president.”
In February, Cohen testified publicly before the House Oversight Committee, where he displayed evidence of knowledge of the payments by the president and Donald Trump Jr. with copies of signed checks.
Cohen followed up his public congressional testimony with three closed-door sessions.
Speaking to reporters Monday morning outside his residence at Trump Park Avenue in Manhattan, Cohen lamented, “I hope that 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 added, “There still remains much to be told, and I look forward to the day that I can share the truth.”