By VICTOR ORDONEZ, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, arrived at his midtown Manhattan apartment Thursday morning after being released from Otisville Correctional Facility. Cohen will spend the remainder of his three-year sentence in home confinement.
Cohen was released as part of the Justice Department’s push to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among inmates, his lawyer said.
The lawyer, Jeffrey Levine, is expected to issue a statement later in the day.
Cohen, 53, was originally scheduled for release in November 2021. He pleaded guilty in 2018 in two separate criminal cases. Cohen admitted to campaign finance violations spawning from payments made to women who alleged having affairs with Trump years prior to his 2016 presidential campaign.
Cohen’s return home marks the end of a long and confusing endeavor. His lawyers requested the remainder of his sentence be served at home due to the pandemic in March — which was swiftly rejected. His attorneys submitted another request in mid April. Although this request was reportedly granted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), the BOP backtracked and rescinded its approval on May 1.
Cohen’s attorney, however, was notified Wednesday that the latest BOP order was, in fact, rescinded — Cohen would be allowed to return home Thursday morning.
In another charge, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about a Moscow real estate project Trump and his company pursued while Trump was trying to secure the Republican nomination to become president.
Thousands of federal inmates have contracted coronavirus, and more than 50 have died, according to the BOP’s own data.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was also released from prison last week without having served even half of his more than seven-year term. He was jailed in 2018 convicted for witness tampering while awaiting trial on bank and tax fraud charges. He also later pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States and obstruct justice related to his undisclosed lobbying for a pro-Russian politician and political party in Ukraine.
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