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Federal Judge Orders Michael Cohen’s Release; Says His Arrest Was Retaliation For Tell-All Book

The president’s former personal attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen will once again be released from prison. A federal judge on Tuesday ruled that the government unlawfully revoked Cohen’s pandemic-related home confinement in retaliation for his plan to release a tell-all book about his time working for Donald Trump.

Cohen earlier this month was prepared to convert his pandemic-related prison furlough to home confinement when he was presented with an agreement that prohibited him from having any contact with news media organizations or from posting on social media. Cohen and his lawyer Jeffrey Levine argued that the term, which was not included on standard Bureau of Prisons release forms, violated Cohen’s First Amendment rights. Cohen refused to sign. He was immediately remanded back to federal prison and subsequently filed a lawsuit against Attorney General William Barr and the BOP.

During Tuesday morning’s preliminary hearing in the case, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said there was no way to view the extraordinary terms of Cohen’s release agreement as anything other than retaliation for his upcoming book.

“The purpose of transferring Mr Cohen to jail was retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights,” Hellerstein said.

The judge ordered Cohen to be released from Otisville Federal Prison and to be remanded into the custody of his son by 2:00 p.m. Friday.

This is a breaking news report.

[image via Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images]

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.