Ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen back in federal prison

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FILE – In this May 6, 2019, file photo, Michael Cohen, former attorney to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building before beginning his prison term in New York. Cohen, was returned to federal prison, weeks after his early release to serve the remainder of his sentence at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal Bureau of Prisons said Thursday, July 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was returned to federal prison Thursday, weeks after his early release to serve the remainder of his sentence at home because of the coronavirus pandemic, the federal Bureau of Prisons said.

In a statement to The Associated Press, the Bureau of Prisons said Cohen had “refused the conditions of his home confinement and as a result, has been returned to a BOP facility.” His return to prison comes days after the New York Post published photos of him and his wife enjoying an outdoor meal with friends at a restaurant near his Manhattan home.

Roger Adler, one of Cohen’s attorneys, called his jailing an “overly draconian response to what was at worst poor judgment.” He said it was Cohen’s belief that being on medical furlough “did not prohibit venturing beyond his apartment and dining out.”

“It’s not a crime to eat out and support local businesses,” Adler told the AP, adding Cohen had been “thrown back into a petri dish of coronavirus.”

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress, had been released May 21 on furlough as part of an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in federal prisons. Cohen, 53, began serving his sentence in May 2019 and had been scheduled to remain in prison until November 2021.

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