Michael Cohen, who served for years as a personal attorney for President Donald Trump, was rearrested last week and is now in solitary confinement at a federal prison in Otisville, New York.
But there are suggestions that the real reason Cohen was taken into custody may have to do with his refusal to sign an agreement that he wouldn’t continue work on a tell-all book he’s writing about his years of service to Trump.
The Washington Post reports:
“Since May, Cohen had been on a novel coronavirus pandemic-related furlough from jail, living at home in New York City. Last week, he went to New York’s federal courthouse to attend what he thought would be a routine meeting with probation officers to discuss the conditions of his home confinement.
“He was stunned to be asked to sign an agreement he thought limited his First Amendment rights, according to descriptions provided last week by members of his legal team. Shortly after expressing concern, federal marshals arrived, handcuffed a panicked Cohen and returned him to prison, the lawyers said.”
Considering that Cohen was the bagman who allegedly paid hush money to women Trump had affairs with (Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal), he clearly has knowledge of Trump’s most delicate personal and legal matters. So any attempt by the Department of Justice to silence him would constitute a major abuse of the DOJ’s authority.
“Whether you like him or hate him, the idea that he is handcuffed and taken to solitary because he won’t sign a form that says ‘I’m not going to write my book,’ the First Amendment has to have some impact here … What I see is liberty, our liberty, our constitutional rights, being endangered by the weaponization of our criminal justice system.”
Other legal experts note that Cohen’s sudden return to prison is evidence of a larger pattern at the DOJ under Attorney General William Barr: Favoring the president’s friends while punishing those he perceives as enemies:
“After all, Trump granted clemency and commuted the 40-month prison sentence last Friday of his former political adviser, Roger Stone, who was convicted on seven counts of lying about attempts to get dirt on Hillary Clinton and then threatening a witness who could contradict him. Trump’s attorney general, William P. Barr, had previously recommended a more lenient sentence for Stone than the one recommended by career prosecutors. Barr later announced the Justice Department would drop attempts to prosecute former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn after he twice pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents.”
If Cohen and his attorneys want to fight back against the way he’s being treated, they should go ahead and publish what they have of his book, then let him finish writing it as soon as he’s served the remainder of his sentence.
Featured Image Via the BBC