Michael Cohen, the longtime Trump Organization fixer who served as President Trump’s personal attorney and most ardent defender, is being released from prison into home confinement amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Cohen is serving a three-year sentence in federal prison in Otisville, NY, for numerous charges including campaign finance fraud and corruption. He was scheduled for release in November 2021, but he will be moved to home confinement, CNN reported, after 14 inmates and seven staff members at the prison tested positive for Covid-19.
Cohen’s lawyer, Roger Adler, confirmed to CNN that his client would be released.
Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons earlier this month to up the use of home confinement and expedite the release of eligible high-risk inmates, according to the Associated Press.
For over a decade, Cohen had been Trump’s most visible cheerleader within the Trump Organization, described as his “pit bull” and involved in several aspects of the sprawling business, primarily as a legal liaison and public-relations aide.
“With Mr. Trump, I think he has developed a very close relationship and a deep loyalty for a man he considers sort of giant,” Marc Kasowitz, another attorney who has worked for Trump for more than a decade, told The Real Deal in 2017 after Cohen was tapped to serve as Trump’s personal attorney. “Not just in the real estate business, but as an important figure in the U.S. and the world.”
But when Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to tax fraud, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress, admitting to helping facilitate hush money payments to two women who alleged past affairs with Trump, he implicated his former boss. Cohen made the payments, he told a federal judge, “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, who prosecutors identified in court filings as “Individual 1.” And in Congressional testimony in February 2019, Cohen testified that Trump purposely inflated the values of his New York real estate holdings in order to obtain a loan from Deutsche Bank.
Trump, for his part, has described Cohen as a “rat.”
“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer,” the president tweeted in 2018, “I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!” [CNN] — TRD Staff