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Manhattan, New York federal judge — William H. Pauley III — passed away at the age of 68. He was the one who sentenced Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael D. Cohen to three years in prison for his part in the hush money sex scandals — which would have threatened Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Pauley died in his East Quogue, New York home on July 6, 2021.
According to his son, William, the judge died due to complications from bile duct cancer.
Pauley was born on Aug. 14, 1952, in Glen Cove, New York. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1974. After which he attended Duke University School of Law and earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1977.
He became a Law clerk for Nassau County, New York — from 1977 to 1978. In 1978, Pauley became a Nassau County Deputy county attorney. From 1984 to 1998 he served as assistant counsel to the minority leader in the New York State Assembly. He also privately practiced law in New York City from 1978 to 1998.
Pauley joined the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1998.; he joined after President Bill Clinton nominated him. The U.S. Senate confirmed Clinton’s nomination on Oct. 21, 1998. On March 1, 2018, he assumed senior status and served in New York Courts until his death.
In 2020, President Donald Trump nominated John Cronan to replace Pauley on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. On Aug. 10, 2020, Cronan succeeded Pauley.
He presided over several major cases throughout his career. Including a civil liberties lawsuit in 2013. He agreed with a 1979 ruling allowing the National Security Agency to use the Patriot Act empowering them to collect metadata in bulk on virtually every call made in the U.S. This opinion was overturned in appeals court in 2015.
He is survived by his wife, Kimberly, three sons — Kendall, Adam, and William — and his brother, Arthur.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The New York Times: William H. Pauley III, Judge in Trump Hush Money Case, Dies at 68; by Sam Roberts
Ballot Pedia: William Pauley
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