Michael Cohen was allowed to leave prison in May 2020 so he could serve the rest of his sentence at home. But while the terms were being worked out, he was sent back to prison, reportedly after refusing to agree to the furlough's conditions. The real reasons, he says, were the unflattering things he said about President Trump and the book he was writing about him. On Friday, Trump's former personal lawyer sued the federal government for $20 million in damages, NBC reports. In returning him to prison, the lawsuit says, Trump administration officials were guilty of "false arrest, false imprisonment, abuse of process, wrongful confinement, and retaliation."
If his client could be imprisoned for criticizing the president, lawyer Jeffrey Levine said, it's not hard to imagine that anyone could be similarly penalized. "That is not hyperbole and not acceptable," Levine said. Cohen appealed while in prison and is back under house arrest. His term ends in November, per Business Insider. His suit also claims he endured "emotional pain and suffering" after being imprisoned again. The Justice Department did not immediately comment about the lawsuit. Levine said, "accountability for these tyrannical, unconstitutional and retaliatory acts" is necessary to uphold the rule of law. (Read more Michael Cohen stories.)