Federal judge rejects Michael Cohen’s request to alter sentence

Michael Cohen asked to have his three-year prison sentenced reduced or moved to home confinement, citing the coronavirus outbreak. File Photo by Tasos Katopodis/UPI

March 25 (UPI) — A federal judge on Tuesday denied a request by President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen to reduce or modify his three-year prison sentence.

U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley shot down Cohen’s request to reduce his three-year sentence to one year or serve the entirety in home confinement, saying Cohen’s motion had a “fatal flaw” as only prosecutors can file to reduce or alter a sentence.

“Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far-reaching institutional harms. For these reasons, Cohen’s application to reduce or modify his sentence is denied,” Pauley wrote.

Cohen began his prison sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, N.Y., in May after pleading guilty for arranging a hush money scheme in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign to pay two women who said they had affairs with Trump.

Pauley’s order stated that Cohen made “material and false statements” in his post-sentencing proffer sessions, including alleging that the Department of Justice was biased against him.

“Those ad hominem attacks lack any substance and do not trigger the right to a remedy or a hearing before this Court,” the judge wrote.

Cohen last week asked the court to allow him to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement, citing the potential risk of COVID-19 spreading among prisoners.

“That Cohen would seek to single himself out for release to home confinement appears to be just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle,” Pauley wrote. “As the government points out, he is ‘manifestly ineligible’ for compassionate release and has not exhausted his administrative remedies.”


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