Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen gets prison surrender date delayed two months to May 6

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was given a two-month extension for his scheduled date to surrender to federal prison.
  • Cohen will now have to surrender to prison on May 6 to begin a three-year sentence, Judge William Pauley ordered.
  • Cohen's attorney requested the delay, citing the fact that Cohen had "recently underwent a serious surgical procedure" and needs to prepare for testimony to three Congressional committees by the end of February.
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, and fixer, arrives at federal court for his sentencing hearing, December 12, 2018 in New York City.
Eduardo Munoz | Getty Images News | Getty Images

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was granted a two-month extension of his prison surrender date Wednesday after his attorney cited his need to continue recovering from recent shoulder surgery, and to prepare for upcoming testimony before three congressional committees.

Cohen, 52, will now enter federal prison May 6 to begin his three-year sentence, Judge William Pauley ordered.

Cohen was originally set to begin that sentence March 6. He pleaded guilty last year to financial crimes, lying to Congress and campaign violations related to hush money payments made to two alleged sexual partners of Trump's.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, one of two entities that prosecuted Cohen, did not oppose the "one-time" extension of his surrender date given his medical condition, according to Cohen's lawyer, Michael Monico.

A spokesman for Southern District prosecutors, as well as for special counsel Robert Mueller, Cohen's other prosecutor, declined to comment to CNBC.

Monico, in a letter to Pauley requesting the 60-day delay, cited the fact that Cohen "recently underwent a serious surgical procedure and he needs to undergo intensive post-surgical physical therapy and be monitored by his physician for recovery."

Monico also noted that Cohen "also anticipates being called to testify before three ... Congressional committees at the end of" February.

"Doing so will required Mr. Cohen to spend substantial time in preparation that will limit the time he has to get his affairs in order and spend time with his family, especially given such a short period between the anticipated hearings and the present reporting date," Monico wrote.

Cohen is set to testify Feb. 28 before the House Intelligence Committee. That hearing will be be closed to the public.

He is also committed to testifying at a closed session of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and in a public session of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The dates for those other two hearings have not been released.

Spokesmen for all three committees did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Cohen since last year has been cooperating with Mueller's ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 president election and issues related to the Trump campaign.

Mueller's office had charged Cohen with lying to Congress about details of an aborted plan to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Cohen admitted that he misled Congress about the date when that plan was dropped and about the extent of Trump's personal involvement in the deal.

Cohen had originally claimed the project was abandoned much earlier in 2016, when Trump was running for the Republican nomination for president, than when it actually was dropped. He also falsely said that Trump was less involved in the effort than the president actually was, according to Cohen's guilty plea.

Cohen has also admitted facilitating hush money payments to two women, porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, at the direction of Trump in 2016 to keep them quiet about their alleged affairs with president a decade earlier. Cohen has said the goal of those payments was to avoid the women's stories affecting the election that year.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York is continuing to investigate those payments. That inquiry, and others related to Trump by the same office, is seen as a serious legal threat to Trump.

Trump has denied having sex with either woman, and has also denied any other wrongdoing.