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Michael Cohen arrives at his Manhattan apartment, Thursday. President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer and fixer was released federal prison Thursday and is expected to serve the remainder of his sentence at home. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Federal

Michael Cohen released from prison

Joins Paul Manafort in home confinement for remainders of their sentences.

President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was released from federal prison Thursday to serve the remainder of his sentence at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wearing a surgical mask and a baseball cap, Cohen arrived at his Manhattan apartment building at around 10:40 a.m. after his release from FCI Otisville in New York.

He removed boxes of legal documents from the trunk of a car. A uniformed doorman at the luxury residence, not far from Trump Tower, carried them into the lobby on a luggage cart.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to tax charges, campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress, didn’t stop to speak with reporters gathered on the sidewalk.

Cohen, 53, was released on furlough as part of an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in federal prisons. He began serving his sentence last May and had been scheduled to remain in prison until November 2021.

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 nearly impossible behind bars.

Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to increase the use of home confinement and expedite the release of eligible high-risk inmates, beginning at three prisons identified as coronavirus hot spots. Otisville is not one of those facilities.

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.” But the Bureau of Prisons can move prisoners to home confinement without a judicial order.

The Bureau of Prisons said last week that more than 2,400 inmates had been moved to home confinement since Barr first issued his memo on home confinement in late March, and 1,200 others had been approved and were expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Other high-profile inmates have also been released as the number of coronavirus cases soars in the federal prison system. Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was released on home confinement last week. Michael Cohen arrives at his Manhattan apartment, Thursday. President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer was released federal prison Thursday and is expected to serve the remainder of his sentence at home. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)Michael Avenatti, the attorney who rose to fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Trump, was temporarily freed from a federal jail in New York City and is staying at a friend’s house in Los Angeles.

Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos, 72, who was also serving a sentence at Otisville, was released on home confinement after testing positive for the coronavirus.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. D-U-M-P T-R-U-M-P 2020 !!!

    May 21, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Undoubtedly, Cohen was released with a binding proviso that he keep his mouth shut. No question, though, that he has MORE DIRT ON TRUMP than any other living person – and the hope would be that he finds some way to get some of the worst of the Trump Tripe out to the public before the election!

    If Cohen talks, Barr will put him back in the slammer in a blink – BUT – that would only last from mid-November until the inauguration of Biden in January. Cohen could get the biggest ‘last laugh’ of all time by spilling the beans on Trump – and the worst it could cost him is two extra months in jail.

    let’s hear it, Mikey!

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