Over the weekend, the Twitter account of incarcerated former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen shared a petition in support of allowing non-violent felons–like Cohen–to be confined at home amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. A defense lawyer for Cohen formally asked a federal judge on Tuesday to modify Cohen’s sentence, and trashed President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic in the process.
Attorney Roger Bennett Adler, attempting to use the coronavirus pandemic to his client’s advantage, said that the federal Bureau of Prisons is “demonstrably incapable” of ensuring the safety of the incarcerated amid this crisis. Therefore, Adler argued, U.S. District Judge William Pauley of the Southern District of New York should allow Cohen to serve some prison time while confined at home.
In urging the judge to do so, Adler sniped at President Trump. He said the judge should show the thoughtfulness and decisiveness that the president has not.
“In the absence of Presidential leadership, judges should act thoughtfully and decisively. President Trump apparently does not subscribe to President Harry Truman’s observation ‘The buck stops here,'” he wrote.
That last line appears to be a dig at Trump’s “I don’t take responsibility at all” comment from four days ago.
On Sunday, a spokesperson for Bureau of Prisons told Law&Crime that the BOP has “instituted a comprehensive management approach that includes screening, testing, appropriate treatment, prevention, education, and infection control measures.”
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison back in Dec. 2018 for campaign finance violations, bank fraud and tax evasion. Cohen famously said in court that then-candidate Trump (“Individual-1”) “directed him” to make the hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal ahead of the 2016 election.
Cohen is currently doing his time behind bars in Otisville, New York–a prison some have described as a “castle behind bars.”
[Image via Yana Paskova/Getty Images]