Michael Cohen to be released early from prison amid coronavirus pandemic: report

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Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, is being released from prison early amid fears of coronavirus, according to Cohen’s lawyer and others familiar with the matter, CNN reported Thursday evening. 

Cohen, once a staunch ally and surrogate for the president leading up to the 2016 presidential election, is serving three years in a New York federal prison after he was convicted last year of alleged financial crimes, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress.

Cohen will spend 14 days quarantining at a prison camp before he is allowed to serve the remainder of his sentences, which end in November 2021, from home. 

His release has not yet been finalized by the federal Bureau of Prisons, though Cohen’s lawyer, Roger Adler, confirmed to CNN that he was notified of the decision Thursday evening. 

Last month U.S. District Court Judge William Pauley rejected a request from Cohen’s attorney asking for an early release. Since then, 14 inmates and seven staff members at the prison complex where he’s serving time have tested positive for the virus.

“Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far reaching institutional harms,” Pauley wrote at the time in a March 23 ruling. 

Cohen is one of several political figures and celebrities to ask for an early release amid the pandemic. 

Michael Avenatti, the attorney who represented adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her litigation against the president, was granted a temporary release by a California federal judge. Avenatti, who was once floated as a potential presidential candidate, was convicted in February of allegedly attempting to extort up to $25 million from the athletic apparel giant Nike.

Tags CNN Coronavirus Donald Trump Michael Cohen Michael Cohen

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