Michael Cohen To Be Freed From Prison Early Due To Coronavirus Concerns, Given House Arrest For Remainder Of Sentence
President Donald Trump‘s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen is set to be one of several inmates released from a federal prison in upstate New York because of possible spread of the coronavirus, according to an announcement made by defense lawyers on Friday.
Cohen was ordered to serve the rest of his three-year sentence that is set to end in November 2021 in home confinement. He will first have to complete a two week isolation at the prison before he is allowed to leave on May 1, said his lawyer Roger Bennett Adler. The prison in Otisville, N.Y. had 14 inmates and seven staff members test positive for the virus. Cohen’s lawyer argued to the Bureau of Prisons that the prison was too unsafe for their client to stay in. Last month, Cohen and his lawyers tried to appeal to a Manhattan federal judge for his release, but U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley denied it, saying that Cohen was just trying “another effort to inject himself into the news cycle.”
“Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far reaching institutional harms,” the judge had said.
At least six other inmates have also been released to serve their sentences at home, though some may have to return to the prison in the future.
In 2018, Cohen plead guilty to multiple charges including tax evasion, campaign-finance violations, and lying to Congress, all in part of a scheme to pay hush money to women who said they had affairs with President Trump.
According to the Bureau of Prisons, 1,198 inmates have been moved to home confinement across the United States during the coronavirus crisis. They report that hundreds of inmates and staff have been infected, and 18 inmates have died from the virus.