Who is Michael Cohen?

Who is Michael Cohen?

Michael Cohen is a popular American lawyer who served as the personal attorney of former United States President Donald Trump from 2006 to 2018.

Cohen has been a key figure in several legal battles against former President Donald Trump. He was best known for his involvement in hush money payments ($130,000) to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

Michael Cohen has been involved in several high-profile legal cases throughout his career, including the Stormy Daniels hush money payments, the Karen McDougall payments, tax evasion and bank fraud, and the New York taxi medallion fraud.

On May 6, 2019, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion, bank fraud, campaign finance violations related to hush money payments, and making false statements to Congress. He was later released on leave on May 21, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement.

Early Life, Education and Family Background

Michael Cohen’s full name is Michael Dean Cohen. He was born on August 25, 1966 in Lawrence, New York in a Jewish family. His father, Maurice, was a surgeon and Holocaust survivor, while his mother, Sondra, worked as a nurse.

Cohen studied at Lawrence Woodmere Academy. In 1988, he received a bachelor’s degree from American University. After this, he obtained the Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1991.

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Begnning Career

Cohen began his legal career as a personal injury attorney in 1992, working for Melvin Estrin in Manhattan.

In 2006, he joined former President Donald Trump’s Organization after assisting Trump in a legal case involving a condominium board.

Cohen quickly rose through the ranks and became Trump’s vice president and personal attorney, often referred to as his “fixer” due to his role in resolving issues on Trump’s behalf.

Michael Cohen’s responsibilities as Donald Trump’s lawyer

As Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen had a variety of responsibilities. He provided legal advice and representation to Trump in various legal matters. This included handling controversies, managing litigation, and overseeing legal compliance for Trump’s personal and business interests.

He was involved in negotiating and structuring business deals, real estate transactions and contracts. He often acted as the fixer, addressing any issues or conflicts that arose in these deals.

Cohen also played a role in Trump’s political activities, including his 2016 presidential campaign. He was involved in strategic discussions and advised on various campaign-related matters.

Role in the famous case of Michael Cohen

  • Stormy Daniels Hush Money Payment: Cohen was involved in a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels (Stephanie Clifford). Pleaded guilty to finance violations, among other charges, related to this payment in 2018. He admitted making payments at Trump’s direction to influence the 2016 presidential election.
  • Karen McDougal payment: Cohen was involved in arranging a $150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal to buy the rights to her story of an alleged affair with Trump that was never published.
  • Tax evasion and bank fraud: Cohen was convicted in August 2018 of multiple counts of tax evasion, bank fraud, and making false statements to a financial institution.
  • False Statements to Congress: Cohen admitted lying to Congress about the timing and extent of discussions about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. He ultimately pleaded guilty in November 2018 to making false statements to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  • New York taxi medallion fraud: Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to New York taxi medallion fraud.
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Criminal charges and dismissal

Cohen’s legal troubles began in 2018 when he was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. In August 2018, he pleaded guilty to charges including tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations. Cohen admitted making illegal campaign contributions, including a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, which he claims was made at Trump’s direction to influence the 2016 presidential election.

As a result of his conviction, Cohen was vacated by the New York Supreme Court in February 2019 and was sentenced to three years in federal prison and ordered to pay a fine and restitution.

Life after Prison

After being released from prison in July 2020, Cohen has begun a new chapter in his life as a writer. He has published two books to date: “Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump” and “Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the Department of Justice Against His Critics”.

The book highlights Trump’s use of intimidation to silence critics and rivals. Cohen detailed Trump’s efforts to suppress stories about alleged affairs, including paying off women and threatening journalists, demonstrating a culture of fear and coercion around Trump.

Cohen has also launched the “Mea Culpa” podcast, where he discusses current American issues, legislation and his personal experiences and provides insight on his experiences with Trump.

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Additionally, he frequently appears as a guest on cable television and provides Cohen consulting services, leveraging legal and political expertise.

Michael Cohen’s Net worth

Before legal issues Michael Cohen’s net worth was over $100 million. But his current net worth is estimated to be less than $1 million due to legal fees, fines, and asset forfeiture.

At one time Michael Cohen was one of America’s richest and highest-earning lawyers. He earned a high salary (about $1 million annually) while working as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.

The majority of Cohen’s early wealth came from his ownership of more than 200 New York City taxi medallions, which were highly valued before the rise of ride-sharing apps.

Personal Life

Michael Cohen’s wife’s name is Laura Shusterman. They were married in 1994 and have two children.


Overall, Michael Cohen has played an active role in high-profile legal cases as a personal lawyer for Donald Trump. He was convicted and jailed on multiple charges, including tax evasion, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. After coming out of jail, he has started his new chapter as a writer, which further strengthened his role in the legal and political turmoil.

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