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READ: Michael Cohen's statement in court

Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen spoke in court Wednesday before being sentenced to three years in p...

Posted: Dec 13, 2018 6:42 AM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 6:42 AM

Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen spoke in court Wednesday before being sentenced to three years in prison.

Read Cohen's statement from the court transcript below:

Government and public administration

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Law courts and tribunals

Michael Cohen

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US federal government

White House

THE DEFENDANT: Thank you, your Honor. I stand before your Honor humbly and painfully aware that we are here today for one reason: Because of my actions that I pled guilty to on August 21, and as well on November 29. I take full responsibility for each act that I pled guilty to, the personal ones to me and those involving the President of the United States of America. Viktor Frankl in his book, "Man's Search for Meaning," he wrote, "There are forces beyond your control that can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation." Your Honor, this may seem hard to believe, but today is one of the most meaningful days of my life.

The irony is today is the day I am getting my freedom back as you sit at the bench and you contemplate my fate. I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the fateful day that I accepted the offer to work for a famous real estate mogul whose business acumen I truly admired. In fact, I now know that there is little to be admired. I want to be clear. I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today, and it was my own weakness, and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. It is for these reasons I chose to participate in the elicit act of the President rather than to listen to my own inner voice which should have warned me that the campaign finance violations that I later pled guilty to were insidious.

Recently, the President Tweeted a statement calling me weak, and he was correct, but for a much different reason than he was implying. It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass. My weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump, and I was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands. I have already spent years living a personal and mental incarceration, which no matter what is decided today, owning this mistake will free me to be once more the person I really am.

Your Honor, I love my family more than anything in the world: My dad who is here today, my mom, my in-laws, siblings, love of my life, my wife Laura, my pride and joy, my daughter Samantha, my son, Jake. There is no sentence that could supersede the suffering that I live with on a daily basis, knowing that my actions have brought undeserved pain and shame upon my family. I deserve that pain. They do not. I also stand before my children, for them to see their father taking responsibility for his mistakes, mistakes that have forced them to bear a shameful spotlight which they have done nothing to deserve, and this breaks my heart.

For me, the greatest punishment has been seeing the unbearable pain that my actions and my associations have brought to my entire family. My mom, my dad, this isn't what they deserve to see in their older age, especially when as a child they emphasized to all of us the difference between right and wrong. And I'm sorry. I believed during this process that there were only two things I could do to minimize the pain to my family: Admit my guilt and move these proceedings along. This is why I did not enter into a cooperation agreement. I have elected to be sentenced without asking for adjournment.

I have given information during countless hours of meetings with prosecutors that have been cited as substantial, meaningful and credible. I have chosen this unorthodox path because the faster I am sentenced, the sooner I can return to my family, be the father I want to be, the husband I want to be, and a productive member of society again. I do not need a cooperation agreement to be in place to do the right thing. And I will continue to cooperate with government, offering as much information as I truthfully possess. I stand behind my statement that I made to George Stephanopoulos, that my wife, my daughter, my son have my first loyalty and always will. I put family and country first. My departure as a loyal soldier to the President bears a very hefty price.

For months now the President of the United States, one of the most powerful men in the world, publicly mocks me, calling me a rat and a liar, and insists that the Court sentence me to the absolute maximum time in prison. Not only is this improper; it creates a false sense that the President can weigh in on the outcome of judicial proceedings that implicate him. Despite being vilified by the press and inundated with character assassinations over the past almost two years, I still stand today, and I am committed to proving my integrity and ensuring that history will not remember me as the villain of his story. I now know that every action I take in the future has to be well thought out and with honorable intention because I wish to leave no room for future mistakes in my life. And so I beseech your Honor to consider this path that I am currently taking when sentencing me today. And I want to apologize to my entire family for what my actions have put them through.

My family has suffered immeasurably in the home and the world outside. I know I have let them all down, and it will be my life's work to make it right, and to become the best version of myself. Most all, I want to apologize to the people of the United States. You deserve to know the truth and lying to you was unjust. I want to thank you, your Honor, for all the time I'm sure you've committed to this matter and the consideration that you have given to my future.

Again, I want to thank my family, my friends, many who are here today, who are with me, especially all the people who wrote letters on my behalf. In addition, I would like to thank the tens of thousands of strangers who despite not knowing me at all, not knowing me personally have shown kindness and empathy in writing letters to me and offering support and prayer. And I thank you, your Honor, I am truly sorry, and I promise I will be better.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 33558

Reported Deaths: 2110
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9616571
Lake3538185
Cass15897
Allen145168
St. Joseph124834
Elkhart116328
Hendricks116171
Hamilton115693
Johnson1093108
Madison58559
Porter51627
Bartholomew50034
Clark49241
LaPorte42423
Howard39526
Tippecanoe3903
Jackson3791
Delaware37736
Shelby36822
Hancock32728
Floyd31839
Boone30935
Morgan27824
Vanderburgh2652
Montgomery23517
White2318
Decatur22431
Clinton2231
Noble21121
Grant20621
Harrison19221
Dubois1923
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16612
Warrick16628
Dearborn16621
Vigo1648
Lawrence15423
Miami1411
Putnam1367
Jennings1304
Orange12522
Scott1193
Kosciusko1111
Franklin1098
Ripley1086
Carroll922
Marshall901
Daviess8516
Steuben812
Newton7710
Wayne776
Fayette767
Wabash762
LaGrange712
Jasper651
Washington521
Jay500
Fulton481
Clay471
Rush462
Randolph463
Pulaski460
Jefferson431
Whitley393
Starke363
Sullivan341
Owen341
Brown331
DeKalb331
Perry310
Benton300
Knox290
Wells280
Huntington272
Tipton251
Crawford240
Blackford242
Fountain202
Switzerland200
Spencer191
Parke170
Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin110
Vermillion100
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0164

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 117455

Reported Deaths: 5270
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook762663570
Lake8063287
DuPage7543362
Kane6188170
Will5442269
Winnebago215654
McHenry151471
St. Clair109179
Kankakee87144
Kendall76919
Rock Island64624
Champaign6177
Madison56558
Boone42817
DeKalb3924
Sangamon34629
Jackson26810
Randolph2674
McLean21713
Peoria2128
Ogle2023
Stephenson1992
Macon19519
Clinton18117
Union1519
LaSalle14713
Whiteside13512
Iroquois1314
Coles12514
Unassigned1250
Out of IL1191
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox970
Grundy952
Monroe9411
McDonough878
Lee791
Cass710
Tazewell714
Henry680
Williamson642
Pulaski510
Marion500
Jasper457
Macoupin452
Adams441
Perry420
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan351
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Menard210
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Woodford192
Mason180
Washington180
Mercer170
Hancock160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Moultrie110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Effingham71
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Terre Haute
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Indianapolis
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Brazil
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A wonderful Saturday with sunshine expected!
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