Former Trump 'fixer' Michael Cohen released from prison because of coronavirus fears

The president's onetime personal lawyer will serve the remainder of his three-year sentence at home.
Image: Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen arrives at his Manhattan apartment after being released from federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence under home confinement in New York City, on May 21, 2020.Mike Segar / Reuters

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By Tom Winter and Dareh Gregorian

President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was released from federal prison on Thursday because of coronavirus concerns and will serve the rest of his three-year sentence at home.

He was seen by reporters entering his New York City apartment building wearing a cap, black suit jacket, jeans and a mask. He nodded but did not make any comments.

He took to Twitter a short time after his return to thank his friends and supporters.

"I am so glad to be home and back with my family. There is so much I want to say and intend to say. But now is not the right time. Soon," he tweeted.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to a number of charges including campaign finance fraud, was initially set to be released from federal lockup in Otisville, New York, in November 2021. He has served just over a year of his sentence.

The federal Bureau of Prisons approved the early release after Cohen's lawyers requested that he have his sentence cut short or serve the remainder at home because of unsafe prison conditions. He was initially slated to return home on May 1, but his release was held up in what his former lawyer Lanny Davis called an "unexplained delay."

Cohen, 53, was sentenced to three years behind bars for what a federal judge called a “veritable smorgasbord" of criminal conduct, including making secret payments to women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, lying to Congress about the president’s business dealings with Russia and failing to report millions of dollars in income. He has been disbarred in New York.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, 71, was released to home confinement last week to serve the rest of his 7½ year sentence because of coronavirus concerns.

Unlike Manafort, Cohen, who's been described as Trump's "fixer," fully turned on his former boss, calling him a "con man" and "a cheat" during dramatic testimony before Congress last year.

The Wall Street Journal reported that more than 2,500 federal inmates considered to be at high risk for the disease have been placed in home confinement since the pandemic started.