Michael Cohen released from federal prison

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Michael Cohen was cut loose from federal prison Friday afternoon — a day after a judge ruled he was thrown in jail as “retaliation” for planning to write a tell-all book about President Trump.

Cohen was walked out of Otisville prison in central New York at about 1 p.m., his lawyer, Danya Perry, said. He was picked up by his son and is headed to his apartment in Manhattan.

“Mr. Cohen is extremely gratified that the court upheld his fundamental constitutional right to speak freely and publicly,” Perry added in a statement.

His release comes a day after Judge Alvin Hellerstein said in a Manhattan federal court hearing that he believes the Bureau of Prisons and US Probation Office retaliated against the president’s former fixer by transferring him to jail from home confinement earlier this month.

Hellerstein said federal authorities specifically sought to infringe on Cohen’s First Amendment rights by blocking him from writing a tell-all book and speaking to the media as part of his terms of home confinement.

Michael Cohen
Michael CohenREUTERS

“It’s retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and discuss the book … on social media,” Hellerstein said.

Cohen had been serving a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion, bank fraud and lying to Congress, but was released on furlough in May after one year due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus in his prison.

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