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Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen jailed for three years

Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen jailed for three years

President Trump's former personal lawyer has been jailed for three years for financial crimes, lying to Congress and for orchestrating illegal payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Mr Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election.

District Judge William H Pauley III on Wednesday rejected arguments by Cohen's lawyers that he should be spared jail because he co-operated in multiple federal investigations involving Trump.

"I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds".

However, prosecutors paint a very different picture, tying the hush payments to the campaign and implicating the president in Cohen's crimes.

In an interview with Reuters this week, he slammed Cohen for cooperating with prosecutors and said he was unconcerned about possible impeachment.

Prosecutors insisted that the payment violated campaign finance laws.

One was brought by special counsel Robert Mueller over Cohen's lies to Congress.

Cohen more recently said that Trump had pursued the Moscow project through June 2016, the entirety of the Republican primary election calendar two years ago.

His 23-year-old daughter, Samantha, and 19-year-old son, Jake, both wept silently in the courtroom, the son wiping his eyes with his jacket sleeve.

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But he was as combative as ever on Twitter when he sought to distance himself from his longtime former attorney, saying: "I never directed Michael Cohen to break the law".

Federal law requires that the contribution of "anything of value" to a campaign must be disclosed, and an individual donation can not exceed $2,700. Mr Trump tweeted of Michael Cohen, adding that he pleaded guilty "to embarrass the president".

Cohen cooperated knowing "the president might shut down" Mueller's investigation, Petrillo said.

"At the appropriate time, after Mr Mueller completes his investigation and issues his final report, I look forward to assisting Michael to state publicly all he knows about Mr Trump and that includes any appropriate congressional committee interested in the search for truth and the difference between facts and lies", Davis said in a statement. He lied for months about his conduct.

They said he was in "close and regular contact with White House-based staff and legal counsel" when he prepared for congressional testimony previous year falsely claiming that Trump had ended his efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow by early 2016, before Republican presidential nominating contests started.

Cohen told the judge just before he was sentenced that loyalty to Trump led him astray.

Trump has denied any collusion with Russian Federation and has accused Mueller's team of pressuring his former aides to lie about him, his campaign and his business dealings.

Assistant US Attorney Nicolas Roos said Cohen's crimes showed a "pattern of deceit, brazenness and greed".

Another message from the fate of the two Trump associates is that Mr Trump's business dealings, not Russian election meddling, could present a greater legal threat to the president.