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Bad News on 2 Fronts for Michael Cohen

Trump's ex-lawyer wasn't released from prison, though it's murky; plus, pushback on his tell-all
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2020 7:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Friday was supposed to be the day when Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney to President Trump, was to be released early from prison, allowed to spend the rest of his sentence in home confinement instead of remaining behind bars until November 2021. Now, sources tell ABC News that Cohen will be staying behind bars for the time being, though it's not clear why. Other inmates at the Otisville, NY, prison complex where Cohen has been serving out his three-year sentence have also lost their home confinement arrangements, sources say. Certain prisoners had reportedly been given this thumbs-up for release due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Federal Bureau of Prisons didn't comment on any reasoning for this apparent revocation, with a spokesperson emailing the Daily Beast on Thursday to simply note: "We can confirm that Michael Cohen is located at FCI Otisville."

However, a source tells the Wall Street Journal that although Cohen didn't get out on Friday, his early release hasn't been completely nixed, and that he'll be eligible for it by the end of May. A Cohen attorney says he was told that his client and other inmates who've been holed up in a two-week quarantine in anticipation of their release are now "awaiting a review of their compassionate release applications." The Otisville facility has already seen several inmates and staffers come down with COVID-19. Meanwhile, Cohen has other issues to contend with. Charles Harder, Trump's current lawyer, is said to have sent a letter to Cohen on behalf of the Trump Organization noting Cohen can't write the tell-all book on Trump he's supposedly penning, as Cohen signed a nondisclosure agreement that bars him from talking about certain info as it pertains to Trump, his family, and the company. (Read more Michael Cohen stories.)

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