Michael Cohen was released from federal prison this afternoon just a day after a judge ruled he was thrown in jail as “retaliation” for planning to write a tell-all book about President Trump.
The same judge also ruled that it’s Cohen’s First Amendment right to write about President Trump, agreeing with his lawyers that he was wrongly sent back to prison after making public statements critical of President Donald Trump.
Cohen was ordered back to prison on July 9 after probation authorities said he refused to sign a form banning him from publishing the book or communicating publicly in other manners, U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said during a telephone conference.
Why would the Bureau of Prisons ask for something like this … unless there was a retaliatory purpose?U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein
Should there be legal repercussions against Barr for misuse of the court system? Hellerstein ordered Michael Cohen released from prison to home confinement by 2 p.m. on Friday.
B.O.P. Responds to Michael Cohen
The Bureau of Prisons issued a spirited defense of its intentions after the ruling Thursday, calling any assertion that the reimprisonment of Cohen “was a retaliatory action is patently false.”
It said the terms of his home confinement were determined by the U.S. Probation Office, which is run by the courts, rather than the bureau.
“During this process, Mr. Cohen refused to agree to the terms of the program, specifically electronic monitoring. In addition, he was argumentative, was attempting to dictate the conditions of his monitoring, including conditions relating to self-employment, access to media, use of social media and other accountability measures,” the statement said.
The Bureau of Prisons also said it was not uncommon for it to place restrictions on inmates’ contact with the media. Still, it said Cohen’s refusal to agree to those conditions or his intent to publish a book played “no role whatsoever” in his return to prison.
In a written declaration, Cohen said his book “will provide graphic and unflattering details about the President’s behavior behind closed doors,” including a description of anti-Semitic and “virulently racist remarks” against Black leaders including President Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president.