Donald Trump’s disgraced fixer Michael Cohen is back in custody after breaking curfew at restaurant
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump‘s former personal attorney, was sent back to jail Thursday after he was caught having dinner at a Manhattan restaurant outside of his residence.
He has been taken back into federal custody, Reuters reported – and taken to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged procurer, is also in custody.
Cohen was seen at a sidewalk table outside Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant around the corner from his Park Avenue apartment, on Thursday with his wife Laura and another couple.
He was serving a three year sentence for crimes that included tax evasion, bank fraud and lying to Congress when he was released to home custody due to the coronavirus crisis.
Cohen was released from prison on May 20 due to the coronavirus, even after a judge had refused to reduce his sentence just two months earlier.
On July 2 he tweeted that he is ‘close to completion’ of a book – then went out to dinner that night.
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer enjoyed a Thursday outing at a sidewalk table outside Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant in the Upper East Side
Proof: Michael Cohen’s attorney Jeffrey Levine holds up his client’s belt and jacket after he was remanded at federal court in Manhattan Thursday
He was with his wife, Laura, and another couple and did not leave the establishment until 11.30pm
Cohen and his group were the last to leave the establishment
The meal broke his curfew conditions by being after dark; he was with his wife, Laura, and another couple and did not leave the establishment until 11.30pm, the New York Post reports. His group was the last to leave.
While the Cohens were not wearing masks while they sat with the couple, they did put on masks before exchanging hugs with the other pair.
According to an employee from eatery Avra Madison, located on East 60th Street, Cohen has also visited that restaurant.
‘He’s nice, and used to come here all the time,’ the source said of the former lawyer’s visit from earlier in the week.
He had completed about a year of a three-year sentence for his role in hush money payments to two women, as well as for financial crimes and lying to Congress.
His sentence expires on November 22, 2021, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.
The women – pornographic film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougall – said they had sexual relationships with Trump. The president has denied having relationships with either woman.
Prosecutors said the payments amounted to illegal campaign contributions. Trump, who denied the affairs, said any payments were a personal matter.
He also dodged taxes on $4 million in income from his taxi business, lying during congressional testimony about the timing of discussions around an abandoned plan to build a Trump Tower in Russia, and orchestrating payments to two women to keep them from talking publicly about alleged affairs with Trump.
Cohen, who had originally been eligible for release in November 2021, had been expected to serve the rest of his sentence in home confinement, two sources familiar with the case said on condition of anonymity at the time of his May release.
Cohen, who once said he would ‘take a bullet’ for Trump, later turned on his former boss and cooperated with Democratic-led congressional inquiries. Trump has called Cohen a ‘rat.’ Cohen has called Trump a ‘racist,’ a ‘con man’ and ‘a cheat.’
Jeffrey K Levine, Cohen’s lawyer, defended his client’s outing last week.
Levine added that his client ‘did not violate any of the terms and conditions of his release… and any assertion or suggestion to the contrary would be wholly inaccurate and untrue.’
On the BOP form for furlough applications, inmates must provide a furlough address and declare by signature that ‘I am authorized to be only in the area of the destination shown above and at ordinary stopovers or points on a direct route to or from that destination.’
There is an additional provision that states: ‘I will not leave the area of my furlough without permission, with exception of traveling to the furlough destination, and returning to the institution.’
Cameron Lindsay, an ex-BOP official and former warden, said Cohen’s little outside trip ‘doesn’t look right’ and could be considered a violation of the conditions.
The 53-year-old was to sentenced to three years for a series of crimes but was released from prison on May 20 due to the coronavirus
While the Cohens were not wearing masks while they sat with the couple, they did put on masks before exchanging hugs with the other pair
‘I find it unusual that he’s out to dinner,’ said Lindsay.
‘I don’t know that I ever remember furloughs being approved for social reasons.’
Following his release, Cohen made his first remarks in a tweet on May 21. ‘I am so glad to be home and back with my family’ he tweeted just after noon.
The disgraced attorney disclosed that he is planning to speak out.
‘There is so much I want to say and intend to say,’ he wrote. However, he added, ‘Now is not the right time. Soon,’ and offers thanks to his supporters.
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