‘IT’S A LIE’: Cohen backs away from plea bargain claims

NEW YORK — Michael Cohen, who once served as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, is walking back claims he made as part of his plea bargain according to a report published by the Wall Street Journal.

Cohen, who pled guilty to eight criminal charges, including campaign-finance violations regarding hush-money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal, now claims he did not commit tax evasion and that a criminal charge related to a home-equity line of credit was “a lie.”

“There is no tax evasion,” the Journal claims Cohen said during a secretly recorded phone call with former television star Tom Arnold, a vocal critic of the president. “And the Heloc? I have an 18% loan-to-value on my home. How could there be a Heloc issue? How? Right? . . . It’s a lie.”

During the call, Cohen, who is preparing to face a three-year prison sentence in exchange for testifying against the president, said he felt like a man “all alone.”

“You would think that you would have folks, you know, stepping up and saying, ‘You know what, this guy’s lost everything,'” Cohen said.

“My family’s happiness, and my law license. I lost my business . . . my insurance, my bank accounts, all for what? All for what? Because Trump, you know, had an affair with a porn star? That’s really what this is about.”

Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, told CNN in response to the report that nothing Cohen said to Arnold during the course of the phone conversation “contradicts Mr. Cohen’s previous defense attorney, Guy Petrillo, in his sentencing memorandum to the presiding federal US District Court Judge William H. Pauley III back in December.”

“I would also add the important words used by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and others, in describing Michael Cohen’s cooperation and testimony as ‘credible’ addressing the ‘core’ issues involved in his investigation,” Davis said.

According to the Journal report, Cohen told Arnold that he agreed to the plea deal in order to protect his wife.

“I love this woman,” Cohen said. “I am not going to let her get dragged into the mud of this crap, and I never thought the judge was going to throw a three-year fricking sentence.”

Cohen is scheduled to begin his prison sentence on May 6.

Trump and Cohen during a campaign stop at the New Spirit Revival Center church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio

‘DIRTY DEEDS’: Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen sentenced 3 Years in prison

NEW YORK: Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison Wednesday by a federal court judge.

An emotional Cohen, 52, lowered his head as U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III sentenced him to charges relating to lying about Trump’s business dealings with Russia and funneling hush money to two women who claimed to have had a sexual relationship with the president.

Visibly fighting back tears, Cohen told the court that he accepted“full responsibility” for his actions — yet laid much of the blame on the boss he once said he would “die” for.

“I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the day that I accepted the offer to work for a real estate mogul whose business acumen that I deeply admired,” Cohen told the judge. “It was my own weakness and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light.”

“Time and time again, I thought it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than listen to my voice,” he added.

In his sentencing order Pauley said Cohen deserved some credit for his decision to admit guilt and cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Muller’s federal investigation of efforts by Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. However, said Pauley, Cohen’s doing so did not “wipe the slate clean.”

“Somewhere along the way Mr. Cohen appears to have lost his moral compass,” the judge said. “As a lawyer, Mr. Cohen should have known better.”

The court also ordered Cohen to pay $1.39 million restitution, forfeit $500,000 and pay $100,000 in fines.

After Cohen’s sentencing, the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York revealed it had structured a non-prosecution agreement with National Enquirer publisher AMI earlier this year for its $150,000 payout to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, one of the Trump’s alleged mistresses.

“As a part of the agreement, AMI admitted that it made the $150,000 payment in concert with a candidate’s presidential campaign, and in order to ensure that the woman did not publicize damaging allegations about the candidate before the 2016 presidential election,” the attorney’s office said. “AMI further admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election.”