Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, is in solitary confinement and quarantined after being ordered back to prison, his lawyer revealed Friday.
Jeffrey Levine confirmed that Cohen, 53, is back in Otisville federal prison, in upstate New York, about 70 miles north-west of the city, after being taken in shackles from a courtroom by U.S. marshals Thursday when he refused to agree not to write and publicize a planned tell-all book about Donald Trump.
Cohen was taken first to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged procurer, is in custody, then transferred to Otisville, the prison camp in upstate New York where he had been held earlier this year.
Cohen had been furloughed in May as part of an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in federal prisons.
Federal authorities said Cohen refused to accept the conditions of his home confinement, specifically that he submit to wearing an ankle monitor.
But Levine said Cohen never refused to wear an ankle monitor but raised concerns about conditions of his home confinement that forbade him from using social media, speaking with the press and publishing a tell-all book he wrote in federal prison. Cohen had been planning to publish the book in the coming months.
‘I was not notified and his family was not notified’ of the transfer to Otisville, Levine told The Associated Press. ‘He is in solitary confinement under the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 for a period of two weeks.’
The move came a week after he was caught having dinner at a Manhattan restaurant near his home long after his curfew.
Cohen was seen at a sidewalk table outside Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant around the corner from his Park Avenue apartment, last Thursday with his wife Laura and another couple. The menu includes a $29 Cobb salad; bread and butter is $3.
But his dinner outing had nothing to do with Cohen’s being taken back into custody. Instead, Cohen was told Thursday that he would be banned from writing a book – which he had already trailed on social media – and refused to sign an agreement to do so.
The 53-year-old had reported to the federal courthouse in Manhattan to convert his furlough to home confinement, his lawyer Jeffrey Levine said outside of the courthouse.
He had been expecting to sign papers formalizing his home release and be given an ankle bracelet. The terms of home release are set by the Bureau of Prisons, which is overseen ultimately by Attorney General Bill Barr through the Department of Justice.
Instead, Levine said, they were presented with an agreement that barred Cohen from having any contact with news media organizations, from posting on social media, and publishing his book.
‘I’m never seen any language like this in my life,’ Levine said.
Lanny Davis, another attorney for Cohen, said ‘it really was total surprise that this happened with no expectation whatsoever.’
He said not even Cohen’s wife Laura knew he was being taken back into prison.
‘It’s pretty troubling the way they handled this so abruptly,’ Davis said.
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Source: Daily Mail