President Trump’s former personal lawyer sued Attorney General William Barr and the Bureau of Prisons director Monday, saying he’s being unjustly held behind bars to stop him from finishing a book that criticizes Trump, the AP reports. The lawsuit on behalf of Michael Cohen was filed late Monday in Manhattan federal court, alleging his First Amendment rights were violated when he was returned to the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, NY, on July 9. Cohen, 53, had been furloughed in May as part of an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus in federal prisons. He had served only a year of his three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to campaign finance charges and lying to Congress, among other crimes. The campaign finance charges have to do with "hush money" payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal.
“In the run-up to the 2020 presidential election, [Cohen] intends to tell the American people about Mr. Trump’s personality and proclivities, his private and professional affairs, and his personal and business ethics,” according to the lawsuit brought on Cohen's behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union and two attorneys. The lawsuit says Cohen's crimes related to “lying to Congress on behalf of Mr. Trump and committing campaign finance violations on behalf of Mr. Trump.” According to the lawsuit, federal authorities moved to re-incarcerate Cohen after he tweeted on June 26 “#WillSpeakSoon” and on July 2 that he was finishing his Trump book. The lawsuit says US Probation officers, working on behalf of the Bureau of Prisons and its director, Michael Carvajal, unconstitutionally demanded of Cohen that he agree not to speak to or through any media, including by publishing a book. The lawsuit also says Cohen's health has suffered; he has been in solitary confinement since July 9.
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