Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen says he has earned early release from home confinement

Greg Nash

President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen filed a new lawsuit on Monday claiming that he has earned early release from home confinement.

Cohen filed a petition in the Southern District of New York arguing that he is entitled to time credits under the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill Trump signed into law in 2018.

Cohen claims that the Bureau of Prisons informed him on Dec. 15 that he is not entitled to any credit despite hundreds of hours of work and courses he completed while incarcerated at the federal correctional facility in Otisville, N.Y.

“This ‘calculation’ is nothing more than another delay tactic, as it goes against the plain language of the statute, as Petitioner is absolutely entitled to credit under the act,” the petition states.

“Depending on the Bureau of Prisons’ calculations, Petitioner could be eligible for release in a matter of weeks or months, making the harm suffered by Petitioner – incarceration past his release date – near immeasurable and potentially immediate,” it continues.

He is asking the court to issue an order requiring the Bureau of Prisons to calculate and apply the credits earned by Cohen to his sentence under the First Step Act.

Cohen also filed an emergency petition for a writ of mandamus in the Southern District of New York containing similar claims. In an interview with The Hill, Cohen said he did so in order to require that the Bureau of Prisons calculate earned time credits for all eligible federal inmates, not just himself.

“One of the things I said I would continue to do is fight for prison reform,” Cohen said.

Cohen pleaded guilty to nine counts, including tax evasion, campaign finance violations and false statements, as part of two separate agreements with prosecutors in 2018. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison.

The president’s former personal attorney was due to be released from prison next November but was released to home confinement in May due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cohen says in the petition filed Monday that he accumulated more than 700 hours of good time credits and credits under the First Step Act.

He spent more than a decade working for Trump at the Trump Organization and eventually as his personal attorney.

The relationship between Cohen and Trump severed dramatically after the attorney pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and links between associates of Trump and Russian officials.

House Democrats summoned Cohen to deliver sharply critical testimony of Trump in February 2019. Cohen released a tell-all memoir about his time working for the president earlier this year.

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