President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen testified publicly and under oath to Congress this week.

 Following his testimony, President Trump tweeted the following:

Among the claims, the idea that Cohen was testifying "in order to reduce his prison time."

A number of viewers wrote to Verify to ask if that's even possible.


Can someone’s sentence be reduced after the fact - because they testified?


Yes, "Rule 35" which is part of U.S. Code allows for the government to file motions to have a person's sentence reduced if they give beneficial testimony.


Rule 35 is titled "correcting or reducing a sentence."

Part (b) of the text says that within a year of sentencing, "upon the government's motion," a court can rule to reduce a sentence if they gave "substantial assistance in investigating or prosecuting another person."

Additionally, it allows for a sentencing reduction after that first year if the defendant's assistance included:

"(A) information not known to the defendant until one year or more after sentencing;

(B) information provided by the defendant to the government within one year of sentencing, but which did not become useful to the government until more than one year after sentencing; or

(C) information the usefulness of which could not reasonably have been anticipated by the defendant until more than one year after sentencing and which was promptly provided to the government after its usefulness was reasonably apparent to the defendant."