Michael Cohen reports to prison after Trump hush-money plea

Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenI'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Wyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Hope Hicks defends accuracy of her congressional testimony MORE, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE’s former longtime attorney and fixer, was set to begin serving a three-year prison sentence on Monday for crimes including campaign finance violations during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“There still remains much to be told and I look forward to the day that I can share the truth,” Cohen told reporters outside a New York City hotel before traveling to the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville, located roughly 70 miles outside of the Big Apple.

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The 52-year-old took a dig at Trump, the man he fiercely defended for years, saying he hopes that after he is released “the country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice and lies at the helm of our country.”

Monday capped off a rapid fall for the former attorney, who was once a top official at Trump’s private business and played a key role in the former real estate mogul’s entry to politics.

Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying to Congress about his efforts to help build a Trump Tower in Moscow in 2016 and breaking campaign finance laws by facilitating payments to two women who accused Trump of having extramarital affairs with them.

Cohen said in federal court he made the payments “at the direction” of then-candidate Trump in order to silence former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.

He also confessed to a slew of financial crimes that were unrelated to his work for Trump.

After the FBI raided his office and residence last April, Cohen offered his cooperation to special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE and delivered damaging testimony to Congress about Trump in part to avoid jail time. Cohen’s testimony is cited more than 100 times in the special counsel’s report on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

But a federal judge in December handed him a 36-month sentence, the second-longest prison term imposed on someone stemming from Mueller’s probe.

Cohen in an interview with The New Yorker published last week expressed dismay at the sentence, lamenting that Trump received no punishment from federal prosecutors for his conduct.

“You are going to find me guilty of campaign finance, with McDougal or Stormy, and give me three years—really?” Cohen asked. “And how come I’m the only one? I didn’t work for the campaign. I worked for him. And how come I’m the one that’s going to prison? I’m not the one that slept with the porn star.”

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, issued a statement later Monday questioning why his client “is the only person within the Trump organization to be prosecuted for crimes committed at the direction of and for the benefit of Mr. Trump.”

Davis also said Cohen would “continue to be accessible” to Congress and federal investigators. Federal prosecutors in New York have already refused previous offers by Cohen for testimony in a bid to reduce his sentence.

The minimum-security prison where Cohen will serve his sentence is a known destination for white-collar criminals.

Among those serving time there are Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino of MTV’s “Jersey Shore,” Fyre Festival creator Billy McFarland and Dean Skelos, the former majority leader of the New York state Senate.

— This report was updated at 11:28 a.m.