Donald Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen walked out of court a free man on Monday morning and promised to keep cooperating with law enforcement before delivering an ominous warning to the Trump family and their company.
‘I make this promise: I may have been prosecuted — and right now I am the only one — but I will not be the only one at the end,’ he said during an appearance on CNN.
He said others who could face federal charges for hush money payments that he made included Trump’s sons Eric and Don Jr, his daughter Ivanka and Alan Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer.
Earlier left the federal courthouse in Lower Manhattan after completing a three-year sentence split between house arrest and federal prison for tax evasion and campaign finance violations.
He said prosecutors wanted to make sure they had their case in order before bringing more charges.
‘They have to make sure that when they do file those indictments against anyone whose last name is Trump — or others — that those indictments stick,’ he said.
Cohen, 55, was Trump’s long-time personal attorney, self-described fixer and attack dog for the best part of a decade.
He steered the man he called ‘the Boss’ through multiple scandals, including alleged affairs with porn star Stormy Daniels and the Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Cohen ended up paying $130,000 to Daniels for her silence, an illegal campaign expense that landed him in jail.
A beaming Michael Cohen leaves Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Court House, Manhattan, on Monday morning after officially completing his sentence
Cohen spent 13 months in federal prison before completing his sentence confined to his smart Upper East Side apartment on Park Avenue, Manhattan, because of the COVID pandemic
Cohen announced his freedom with a tweet, after leaving the federal courthouse in Manhattan
Cohen paid $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, for her silence ahead of the 2016 election, which was later ruled to be an illegal campaign expense
Since then he has spoken out repeatedly against his former boss and predicted that he would eventually face charges.
Monday brought the end of his confinement at his upscale Upper East Side apartment on Park Avenue, split with time at federal prison in Otisville, New York.
‘The official end to the #CohenConfinementCountdown,’ he tweeted, with a picture of a court document. ‘This is what freedom finally looks like!’
He spoke to reporters as he left the courthouse, and said he would continue to cooperate with investigators
‘I will continue to provide information, testimony, documents and my full cooperation on all ongoing investigations to ensure that others are held responsible for their dirty deeds and that no one is ever believed to be above the law,’ he told reporters.
He told waiting reporters that his release did not ‘negate’ the crimes he committed, which he said were carried out at the direction of Trump.
And he criticized prosecutors, the Justice Department and the judge who sentenced him to prison.
‘My release today … also does not negate the behavior of the Justice Department, [then Attorney General] Bill Barr, the Southern District of New York prosecutors, Judge William H. Pauley III or Donald himself in my initial incarceration and prosecution,’ he said.
His sentenced was imposed after he pleaded pleading guilty to lying to Congress about the Trump election campaign’s connection to Russia, as well as tax evasion and campaign finance violations.
‘I feel great today. It’s been long overdue,’ he said.
He gained national notoriety after testifying before Congress in 2019 about the possible collusion between former President Trump and Russia and later publishing a best-selling memoir, Disloyal, about his time working for Trump.
The then president was not amused.
Trump labeled Cohen a ‘rat’ for cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Cohen had served as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer before turning on the former president following his arrest in 2018. He is seen here with candidate Trump in September 2016
Cohen had testified before Congress about Trump’s possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election
During his sentence, Cohen published a best-selling memoir about his time working under former President Donald Trump
Cohen, who lives in Manhattan, had spent 13 months in federal prison following his sentence before transferring to house arrest in early 2020 due to the pandemic.
He was taken back to prison in July 2020, but a federal judge then ruled that he be placed under house arrest, again, following a lawsuit Cohen filed alleging that he was ‘unjustly re-imprisoned.’
‘I am done Sunday night,’ Cohen told CBS on its America: Changed Forever podcast. ‘This has not been a short stint, even in home confinement for me. I will now have served my time.’
He added that he was thankful that he would be able to celebrate Thanksgiving out of his home.
Cohen added that he has managed to keep himself busy through podcasting, writing, exercising and going on walks at nearby parks allowed under his confinement terms.
‘The most important thing is that you actually keep yourself busy, that you schedule yourself,’ he told CBS. ‘I’m just trying to keep myself busy until I’m free to really start my life all over again.’
In his book, he describes Trump as a cheat, liar, fraud, bully, racist and predator.
Cohen says he was bewitched by the real estate mogul and became drunk on a potent cocktail of power and celebrity – comparing himself to Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.
Cohen has since turned vocal in his contempt for Trump, whom he blames for his fall from grace.
He steered the man he called ‘the Boss’ through multiple scandals including alleged affairs with porn star Stormy Daniels (left) and the Playboy model Karen McDougal (right)
He started a podcast while in confinement called Mea Culpa on the heels of his 2020 book, ‘Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump’, which shot to number one in the New York Times bestseller list.
Each episode of the podcast begins with Cohen talking for 10 minutes on the big news story of the day before interviewing a guest – generally someone connected with Trump.
Staunch Trump critics Rosie O’Donnell, former White House Director of Communications, Anthony Scaramucci and Trump’s fired aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, to name but a few, have appeared on his show, which is run in a partnership between Audio Up Media and MeidasTouch.
Cohen has also been among the most vocal opponents of a Trump 2024 campaign, waring that if Trump Is re-elected, he would try to secure two more terms.
‘He doesn’t want to be president, he wants to be the king. He wants to be a dictator.
‘He acted the same way in the Trump world, but you are talking being a CEO of a company versus the king of the country.’