President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, left prison on Friday to finish his sentence at home, a Cohen attorney said a day after a judge found that he was being returned behind bars two weeks ago in retaliation. for plans to publish a book about Trump.
Cohen was picked up at about 1 p.m. from a prison in Otisville, New York, about 70 miles (110 km) northwest of New York City. through his son and brother, said the lawyer, Jeffrey K. Levine. Cohen would be equipped for a single monitor and then driven to his Manhattan apartment.
He had returned to prison on July 9 after being released in May due to concerns about the spread of the new corona virus.
US district judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered Thursday to release Cohen at 2 p.m. EDT Friday.
“He looked exhausted, as you might think, when you get out of quarantine / solitary confinement,” said Levine, seeing Cohen from the car about FaceTime. “He hasn’t slept in two weeks.”
On July 9, Cohen and Levine met with probation officers to convert his leave for the last two years of his three-year prison term into a home. After Cohen questioned a provision that prevented him from publishing the book, contacting news organizations, and posting on social media, officials tied him up and took him back to prison.
Hellerstein said at Thursday’s hearing that he had never seen a prop like this in his 21 years on the bank.
“It is rewarding for his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book,” Hellerstein said.
Cohen can file a lawsuit to seek damages for his illegal imprisonment and violation of his First Amendment rights, Levine said.
“The lawsuit will go deeper into how this happened and who was ultimately responsible,” said Levine.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons said in a statement after the judge’s ruling that the book played no part in the decision to return Cohen to prison. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cohen’s departure from prison.
Cohen, who once said he would ‘take a bullet’ for Trump, was convicted in 2018 of crimes including campaign finance violations for sending silent payments to pornographic film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said they have business with Trump before he became president.
Trump has denied having had the meetings and called Cohen a “rat.”
In lawsuits, Cohen said the book will include his experiences and comments from the decade he worked for Trump both before and after he became president. Cohen said it would provide “unflattering details” about Trump’s behavior.
While turning Cohen on, Trump has expressed support for people who have remained loyal to him. A day after Cohen was sent back to prison, Trump transposed the old jail sentence of friend and advisor Roger Stone for swearing lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.