FORMER TRUMP LAWYER COHEN BACK IN PRISON
NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was returned to federal prison Thursday, after balking at certain conditions of the home confinement he was granted because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The federal Bureau of Prisons said that Cohen had “refused the conditions of his home confinement and as a result, has been returned to a BOP facility.”
Lanny Davis, a Cohen legal adviser, said Cohen had refused to sign off on conditions requiring he avoid speaking with the media and publishing a tell-all book he began working on in federal prison. Davis said the book had been nearly ready to publish.
“That was a point that disturbed him because he pointed out that he was able to talk to the media while he was in Otisville,” Davis said. “He said, ‘But the book is already done and I’m not giving up my First Amendment right to talk to the media, to use social media and, of course, to publish my book.’”
Cohen later agreed to accept the requirements, Davis said, but was taken into custody nevertheless.
“He stands willing to sign the entire document if that’s what it takes” to be released, Davis said.
A Justice Department official pushed back on Davis’ characterization and said Cohen had refused to accept the terms of home confinement, specifically that he submit to wearing an ankle monitor. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.
Davis, however, called that “completely false,” adding that “at no time did Michael ever object to the ankle bracelet.”
Cohen, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress, had been released May 21 on furlough as part of an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in federal prisons. Cohen, 53, began serving his sentence in May 2019 and had been scheduled to remain in prison until November 2021 but was permitted to serve the remainder of this three-year term at home.