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Michael Cohen to Be Released Thanks to Coronavirus

He'll be released to home confinement, his attorney says
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2020 12:05 AM CDT
Updated Apr 17, 2020 2:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Michael Cohen, currently serving a three-year sentence related to "hush money" payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, among other things, was scheduled to be released in November of next year. Instead, he'll be released any day now, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Cohen's lawyer and multiple other sources familiar with the matter confirm the news to CNN, saying Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer, was informed of the decision Thursday. It's not clear when he'll be released, but he'll have to spend 14 days in quarantine at prison first, and then he'll serve the rest of his sentence on house arrest. A federal judge had earlier denied his request for compassionate release, but the federal Bureau of Prisons also has the authority to release prisoners to home confinement.

And the bureau is indeed releasing some nonviolent or medically vulnerable inmates as it works to avoid COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities. Fourteen inmates and seven staffers have tested positive at the New York prison camp where Cohen is serving his time, the AP reports. "These are very difficult times for people who are running correctional facilities at federal, state and local levels because of the budgets that they have to work with, lack of staffing issues, protecting the safety of staff and inmates—there are just agonizing situations at this time," Cohen's attorney says, per ABC News. "I am pleased that he [Cohen] will be on home confinement for the remaining balance of his sentence." (Stormy Daniels' lawyer got similar news.)

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