Michael Cohen: Prison release for ex-Trump lawyer over virus

Michael Cohen

Enlarge Image Michael Cohen Reuters

A Cohen lawyer in March said the federal Bureau of Prisons has been "demonstrably incapable of safeguarding and treating BOP inmates who are obliged to live in close quarters and are at an enhanced risk of catching coronavirus".

President Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen will be released from federal prison because of the coronavirus outbreak and will serve the remainder of his time in home confinement, reports said Wednesday.

In March and April, U.S. Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to expedite the release of high-risk inmates into home confinement.

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Michael Cohen walks out of federal court, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, in NY, after pleading guilty to lying to Congress about work he did on an aborted project to build a Trump Tower in Russia., Cohen told the judge he lied about the timing of the negotiations and other details to be consistent with Trump's "political message". Cohen, who had been imprisoned in a facility in NY state, had been eligible for release from prison in November 2021.

Unlike Manafort, Cohen, who's been described as Trump's "fixer", fully turned on his former boss, calling him a "con man" and "a cheat" during dramatic testimony before Congress past year.

At the court hearing, Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about a Trump real estate project in Moscow during the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Cohen worked for Trump for more than a decade and was often described as Trump's "fixer" until a rift occurred between them.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, 71, was released to home confinement last week to serve the rest of his 7½ year sentence because of coronavirus concerns. Cohen has called Trump a "racist", a "con man" and "a cheat".

Prison advocates and congressional leaders have been pressing the Justice Department for weeks to release at-risk inmates, arguing that the public health guidance to stay 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from other people is almost impossible behind bars. An additional 1,200 have also been approved for release later this month.

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A federal judge had denied Cohen's attempt for an early release to home confinement after serving 10 months in prison and said in a ruling earlier this month that it "appears to be just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle".

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