Michael Cohen Imprisoned in Home Confinement Dispute

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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, is back in federal custody amid a dispute over the conditions of his home confinement, the Washington Post reports. Cohen balked at agreeing to a Bureau of Prisons requirement that he not talk to reporters, not use social media and not write a book while on home confinement, said one adviser, Lanny Davis. A Justice Department official said Cohen “refused electronic monitoring” — which Davis and lawyer Jeffrey Levine disputed — and added: “It’s not that he can’t do media interviews. It’s that he has to get preapproval for them.” Cohen had to agree to “No engagement of any kind with the media, including print, tv, film, books, or any other form of media/news, as well as staying away from all social media platforms. No posting on social media and a requirement that you communicate with friends and family to exercise discretion in not posting on your behalf or posting any information about you.”

“The purpose is to avoid glamorizing or bringing publicity to your status as a sentenced inmate serving a custodial term in the community,” federal documents say. Cohen was released from prison two months ago as part of the DOJ push to stem the spread of the coronavirus among inmates. Cohen had been serving a three-year term for financial crimes and lying to Congress. Cohen had been scheduled to meet with probation officers to get an ankle bracelet in a transition from “furlough” to “home confinement.” Davis said Cohen was presented with the conditions and objected, saying, “the book is already done, and I’m not giving up my First Amendment rights to talk to the media, to use social media, and especially, to publish a book.”

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