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Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is en route to federal prison

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Image: Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's former lawyer, leaves h
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, leaves his apartment in New York on May 6, 2019. -
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Jeenah Moon Reuters
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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer who pleaded guilty last year to an array of white-collar crimes, is set to begin serving his three-year prison sentence Monday.

Cohen gave a brief statement to reporters outside his New York City apartment Monday morning before jumping in a waiting car to travel to the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville, a large federal prison complex in the Catskills region.

"There still remains much to be told, and I look forward to the day that I can share the truth," Cohen told reporters.

Cohen must report to Otisville, about 75 miles northwest of New York City, no later than 2:00 p.m. ET.

There, Cohen will join other quasi-celebrity criminals like "Jersey Shore" star Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino — who pleaded guilty to tax evasion — and Fyre Festival organizer Billy McFarland, at what the Associated Press has described as the "the closest thing the federal prison system has to sleepaway camp."

Once ranked by Forbes magazine as one of "America's 10 Cushiest Prisons," the Otisville complex is actually two federal facilities — a medium-security prison and a satellite camp for non-violent offenders like Cohen — with a total of about 800 inmates

The complex, tucked in the green and peaceful environs of the Catskill Mountains, has amenities like tennis courts, horseshoes and cardio equipment and gives inmates the opportunity to sleep in bunks lined up in barrack-style halls, instead of individual or two-man cells like in higher-security facilities. According to the AP, there are lockers to store personal belongings, washers and dryers for laundry, microwaves to heat up food and ice machines to keep cool.

Cohen's arrival on the prison grounds will mark a breathtaking reversal of fortune for the ex-lawyer, who as recently as one year ago was still in the employ of the Trump Organization.

In August 2018, however, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight counts, brought by prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, of tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations, including two counts related to hush-money payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump. Another charge he pleaded guilty to, lying Congress about his dealings concerning a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow, stemmed from special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into the Trump campaign's potential collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.

The entrance to the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville in Mount Hope, New York, on May 1, 2019.
The entrance to the Federal Correctional Institution, Otisville in Mount Hope, New York, on May 1, 2019.Seth Wenig

Cohen was sentenced to three years behind barsin December on the charges, which a Manhattan federal court judge called a "veritable smorgasbord" of crimes.

At his sentencing hearing, Cohen — who Trump has slammed as a "rat" — said that as Trump's layer he had "felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds."

"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," Cohen said in December.

Cohen was a vice president of the Trump Organization when he left the company in May. A former personal injury lawyer, he began working for the company in 2007 after helping Trump win a fight with the board at his condominium tower near the United Nations.