By Chuck Ross
Michael Cohen was released from prison in May to home confinement because of the coronavirus, but the threat posed by the bug isn’t stopping the former Trump lawyer from dining at restaurants in New York City.
The New York Post spotted Cohen on Thursday night eating at Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant near Cohen’s Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan. The newspaper reported that Cohen and his wife were dining with two other guests until 11:30.
The Bureau of Prisons granted Cohen a furlough on May 20, releasing him to home confinement due to concerns about coronavirus.
A lawyer for Cohen, Roger Adler, requested Cohen’s release on March 23 saying in a letter to the judge who handled the ex-Trump lawyer’s case that he had a heart condition and that serving his sentence in prison would be “a capital crime depriving my client of his life.”
The government has not said whether Cohen would be allowed to complete his sentence from home or if his furlough would expire before his sentence completion date in November 2021.
Cohen began serving a three-year prison sentence in May 2019 on charges of tax evasion, bank fraud, lying to Congress and making illegal campaign contributions in the form of a secret payment to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump.
The Post cited lawyers who questioned whether Cohen violated the terms of his furlough.
Cameron Lindsay, who formerly served as a warden at a federal facility in Brooklyn, told The Post that Cohen’s restaurant outing “doesn’t look right.”
“I find it unusual that he’s out to dinner,” Lindsay told the paper, adding: “I don’t know that I ever remember furloughs being approved for social reasons.”
Jeffrey K. Levine, another lawyer for Cohen, told The Post that his client did not violate the terms of his furlough.
“Any assertion or suggestion to the contrary would be wholly inaccurate and untrue,” he said, according to the paper.
Cohen posted a video on his Twitter account on Wednesday during a walk down Madison Avenue in Manhattan.
— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) July 1, 2020
Cohen turned sour on Trump during the heat of the special counsel’s probe in mid-2018. He testified before Congress against Trump early last year, accusing the president of unethical personal and business behavior.
Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son and former colleague of Cohen, tweeted that Cohen broke “the terms of his house arrest.”
Don’t worry they’ll only enforce a crime against someone who’s pro Trump not someone who tries to turns against him for a lesser sentence. I’m sure Michael, won’t get in trouble for breaking the terms of his house arrest he’s above the law. https://t.co/tM9rtTEEJ2
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) July 3, 2020
The Bureau of Prisons did not respond to a request for comment.
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