Michael Cohen interview sparks questions after he mentions prison friends ‘Tony Meatballs and Big Minty’

A clip of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, saying he promised the friends he made in federal prison to “fight” for the rights of inmates went viral Monday night over the names he cited. 

“Now, I did the mandamus because I made a promise to guys back at Otisville, like my buddies Tony Meatballs and Big Minty, that I wasn’t going to stop once I got out, once I was put back on home confinement,” Cohen said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “The Beat with Ari Melber.”

Cohen was referring to a lawsuit he filed last week claiming he had earned early release to home confinement under the First Step Act, Trump’s signature criminal justice reform bill. 

Cohen in 2018 pleaded guilty to nine counts, including tax evasion and fraud, and was sentenced to three years in federal prison, serving time at Otisville Correctional Facility in upstate New York. 

“One of the things I said I would continue to do is fight for prison reform,” Cohen said during a recent interview with The Hill. 

Video of Cohen name-dropping his friends “Tony Meatballs” and “Big Minty” on cable news sparked instant reactions from several Twitter users. 

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