Early prison release for Donald Trump’s former fixer and personal attorney Michael Cohen was suddenly called off after a lawyer for the president sent a warning to Cohen not to publish a tell-all book, according to several published reports.
Cohen was expected to be released Friday from a federal prison in Otisville, New York, amid the coronavirus pandemic because of the increased contagion danger in prisons. He had already completed a quarantine required for the release, CNBC reported.
Cohen’s lawyer Roger Adler told CNBC, “I am disappointed that Michael was not released after the 14-day quarantine period.”
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and violating campaign finance law by directing hush-money payments to keep women silent about past affairs with Trump. Cohen was initially scheduled to be released in November 2021.
The early-release delay occurred a day after Charles Harder, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, sent Cohen a letter warning him that he would be at legal risk if he wrote a book about his time working for Trump. Harder noted that Cohen had signed a nondisclosure agreement that he would not reveal information about Trump, his family or his business, ABC News reported.
Cohen has been working on a tell-all book about his time working for Trump that would “pull no punches,” his friend, comedian Tom Arnold, told The Daily Beast last month. It’s reportedly set to be published before the November election.
Reports surfaced last year that Cohen was pitching the book to publishers.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the Trump administration had “absolutely not” intervened to hold up Cohen’s early release.
Comedian Rosie O’Donnell revealed Wednesday that she had visited Cohen in prison. She told “Late Night” host Seth Meyers that Cohen was contrite about his crimes ― and apologized for his role in Trump’s vicious name-calling attacks on her.