Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, was released from a federal prison due to coronavirus concerns and is expected to serve the rest of his three-year sentence from home, reports the Wall Street Journal. Cohen left the facility in Otisville, N.Y., on Thursday. He is among 2,900 federal inmates who have been placed on home confinement as officials identify those at high risk for the virus and low risk for reoffending. Cohen, 53, reported to Otisville in May 2019 after his conviction on campaign-finance charges stemming from involvement in the payment of hush money to women who alleged they had affairs with Trump. He pleaded guilty to tax crimes and making false statements.
His release appeared in doubt when he didn’t return home as scheduled this month. His family lives in a Manhattan apartment. Cohen’s release comes amid confusion over the way federal prison officials have been selecting inmates for home confinement as part of a sweeping effort to ease crowding and slow the spread of the virus behind bars. Officials began moving inmates to home confinement at the direction of Attorney General William Barr in March, as the coronavirus began to take hold in some of the 122 federal facilities. On Wednesday, at least 2,265 inmates had positive test results for the virus, not including 2,177 others who officials say have recovered. At least 58 inmates have died. Officials said they are giving priority to those who have served at least half of their sentences, or who have 18 months or fewer left and have served 25 percent of their terms.