Michael Cohen Back In Custody After Refusing Terms Of Home Confinement

Thursday, July 9th 2020, 2:31 pm
By: CBS News

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal attorney, has been taken back into federal custody after refusing the terms of his home confinement, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement Thursday. Cohen had been furloughed in May over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic within the federal prison system.

Cohen was spotted at a Manhattan restaurant multiple times in the last several weeks, a source told CBS News. He was seen on the evening of June 27 and again on July 1 at Avra Madison Estiatorio, a place Cohen had frequented before he originally went to prison, the source said.

"He was just walking around like everything was normal," said the source, who asked not to be identified but had seen Cohen at the restaurant several times in the past.

Cohen was expected to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement. He had been incarcerated at Otisville Federal Correctional Institution, which is located about 70 miles outside of New York City.

In March, Cohen had sought to have his sentence reduced or to serve the balance of his sentence in home confinement because of the burgeoning threat posed by COVID-19. The court denied his application, claiming the request was "just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle" — but since then, the Bureau of Prisons has taken more aggressive action to stop the spread of the coronavirus within prisons.

Other prominent political figures including former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and attorney Michael Avenatti have also been released to home confinement due to fears of the coronavirus. 

In December 2018, Cohen was sentenced to three years for financial and campaign finance crimes and lying to Congress about his involvement in an effort to build a "Trump Tower" in Moscow during the 2016 campaign. The campaign finance violations involved his arrangement of hush-money payments to two women during the 2016 campaign regarding their alleged affairs with Mr. Trump.

Paula Reid, Pat Milton, Clare Hymes and Ed O'Keefe contributed reporting.

First published on July 9, 2020 / 2:55 PM

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