Michael Avenatti Donald Trump’s disgraced attorney Michael Cohen is FREE as he is released early

Michael Avenatti Donald Trump’s disgraced attorney Michael Cohen is FREE as he is released early

Michael Avenatti

President Donald Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen was freed from federal prison just before 9am Thursday to serve the remainder of his sentence at home.

Cohen had been serving a federal prison sentence at FCI Otisville in New York after pleading guilty to numerous charges, including campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress.

He was seen leaving the low-security prison in a silver Mercedes A-class sedan driven by his son Jake. He was not wearing a mask and was wearing a crisp white shirt with French cuffs and no tie.

Later Cohen was seen arriving at his Manhattan apartment, wearing a University of Miami cap and a mask. His personal items, including a box clearly marked ‘Legal Documents’, were brought in on a luggage cart and carried in by his son Jake.  

The onetime-fixer was released on furlough with the expectation that he will transition to home confinement to serve the remainder of his sentence at home. 

Cohen, 53, began serving his sentence last May and was scheduled to be released from prison in November 2021.

He had pleaded guilty to a series of offenses, including breaking campaign finance law by paying ‘hush money’ to Stormy Daniels to keep her alleged affair with Donald Trump secret. 

Michael Avenatti Michael Cohen was seen arriving at his Manhattan apartment after his release from federal prison on Thursday

Michael Cohen was seen arriving at his Manhattan apartment after his release from federal prison on Thursday

Michael Avenatti The former fixer wore a University of Miami cap and a mask as he was seen walking into his apartment

Michael Avenatti The former fixer wore a University of Miami cap and a mask as he was seen walking into his apartment

The former fixer wore a University of Miami cap and a mask as he was seen walking into his apartment 

Michael Avenatti Cohen's personal items were brought into his Manhattan apartment on a luggage cart. One box was clearly marked 'Michael Cohen - Legal Documents'

Michael Avenatti Cohen's personal items were brought into his Manhattan apartment on a luggage cart. One box was clearly marked 'Michael Cohen - Legal Documents'

Cohen’s personal items were brought into his Manhattan apartment on a luggage cart. One box was clearly marked ‘Michael Cohen – Legal Documents’

Michael Avenatti Cohen's son, Jake Ross Cohen, picked up his father from prison and was seen helping to carry his father's personal items into their apartment

Cohen’s son, Jake Ross Cohen, picked up his father from prison and was seen helping to carry his father’s personal items into their apartment 

Michael Avenatti Cohen, 53, began serving his sentence last May and was scheduled to be released from prison in November 2021

Cohen, 53, began serving his sentence last May and was scheduled to be released from prison in November 2021

Michael Avenatti Freedom: Michael Cohen left Otisville federal prison just after 9 am Thursday, ending just over a year behind bars

Freedom: Michael Cohen left Otisville federal prison just after 9 am Thursday, ending just over a year behind bars

Michael Avenatti On his way home: Michael Cohen will spend the rest of the almost two years of his federal sentence in New York City

On his way home: Michael Cohen will spend the rest of the almost two years of his federal sentence in New York City

Michael Avenatti Family reunion: Michael Cohen's son Jake picked him up from the prison in his silver Mercedes

Family reunion: Michael Cohen’s son Jake picked him up from the prison in his silver Mercedes

Prison advocates and congressional leaders have been pressing the Justice Department for weeks to release at-risk inmates ahead of a potential outbreak, arguing that the public health guidance to stay 6 feet away from other people is nearly impossible behind bars.

Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons in March and April to increase the use of home confinement and expedite the release of eligible high-risk inmates, beginning at three prisons identified as coronavirus hot spots. Otisville is not one of those facilities. 

Cohen was told last month he would be released to serve the rest of his three-year sentence at home in response to concerns about coronavirus. He had told associates he was expecting to be released earlier this month.

The Bureau of Prisons has placed him on furlough as it continues to process a move to home confinement, the person familiar with the matter said. The agency has the authority to release inmates on furlough for up to 30 days and has been doing so to make sure suitable inmates, who are expected to transition to home confinement, can be moved out of correctional facilities sooner, the person said.

Michael Avenatti Smartly dressed: Michael Cohen was wearing a crisp white shirt with French cuffs as he left Otisville headed for New York City

Smartly dressed: Michael Cohen was wearing a crisp white shirt with French cuffs as he left Otisville headed for New York City

Michael Avenatti Federal guard: Michael Cohen was driven away from Otisville watched by a federal correctional officer. He is on furlough from prison for now but his sentence is expected to be converted to home detention soon

Federal guard: Michael Cohen was driven away from Otisville watched by a federal correctional officer. He is on furlough from prison for now but his sentence is expected to be converted to home detention soon

Michael Avenatti Off home: Michael Cohen's son Jake drove his father back to New York City where he will serve his sentence at home

Off home: Michael Cohen’s son Jake drove his father back to New York City where he will serve his sentence at home

Michael Avenatti Out: Michael Cohen walked free from Otisville federal prison in upstate New York one year and 15 days after reporting for custody from his apartment (pictured)

Out: Michael Cohen walked free from Otisville federal prison in upstate New York one year and 15 days after reporting for custody from his apartment (pictured)

Michael Avenatti Old boss: Michael Cohen has been writing a book about his time with Trump while behind bars, he has confided - which could include a tell-all on his dealings with Stormy Daniels which put him there

Michael Avenatti Old boss: Michael Cohen has been writing a book about his time with Trump while behind bars, he has confided - which could include a tell-all on his dealings with Stormy Daniels which put him there

Old boss: Michael Cohen has been writing a book about his time with Trump while behind bars, he has confided – which could include a tell-all on his dealings with Stormy Daniels which put him there

Michael Avenatti Free already: Michael Cohen spent longer behind bars than Paul Manafort despite having a shorter sentence

Free already: Michael Cohen spent longer behind bars than Paul Manafort despite having a shorter sentence

 

A federal judge had denied Cohen’s attempt for an early release to home confinement after serving 10 months in prison and said in a ruling earlier this month that it ‘appears to be just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle.’ 

But the Bureau of Prisons can take action to move him to home confinement without a judicial order.

The Bureau of Prisons said last week that more than 2,400 inmates had been moved to home confinement since Barr first issued his memo on home confinement in late March, and 1,200 others had been approved and were expected to be released in the coming weeks.

Other high-profile inmates have also been released as the number of coronavirus cases soars in the federal prison system. 

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was released on home confinement last week. Michael Avenatti, the attorney who rose to fame representing porn star Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against Trump, was temporarily freed from a federal jail in New York City and is staying at a friend´s house in Los Angeles.

Former New York state Senate leader Dean Skelos, 72, who was also serving a sentence at Otisville, was released on home confinement after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Last month it emerged he has been writing a book while behind bars. 

‘He told me he’s been writing a book and he’s pissed. He told me he is going to spill the beans. What has he got to lose now?’ comedian-and-actor Tom Arnold told The Daily Beast.

Michael Avenatti Comedian Tom Arnold (right) said: 'He told me he's been writing a book and he's pissed. He told me he is going to spill the beans. What has he got to lose now?'

Comedian Tom Arnold (right) said: ‘He told me he’s been writing a book and he’s pissed. He told me he is going to spill the beans. What has he got to lose now?’

Cohen had told the publication in February 2018 that he was shopping a book and had interest from publishers including Hachette.

At the time the book was tentatively titled, Trump Revolution: From The Tower to The White House, Understanding Donald J. Trump.

But in December 2018 he was ordered to spend three years in federal prison and in February 2019 he was disbarred. He reported to federal detention on May 6, 2019.

In March 2019 Trump tweeted his acknowledgement of Cohen writing an expose.

‘Wow, just revealed that Michael Cohen wrote a ‘love letter to Trump’ manuscript for a new book that he was pushing,’ POTUS posted on social media. ‘Written and submitted long after Charlottesville and Helsinki, his phony reasons for going rogue. Book is exact opposite of his fake testimony, which now is a lie!’

Arnold added that Trump has been expecting Cohen to release a book.

Now Cohen is being let out early alongside dozens of other inmates, the release could be sooner than Trump anticipated.

‘It’s like Jaws—you don’t see Jaws very much, but you hear the music, and for Trump he knows Michael is coming and Trump better hear the Jaws music,’ Arnold said.

‘For 12 years, Michael cleaned up everything for Trump and his family. Stormy Daniels was a tiny moment in that. There’s so much more that will come out in the book.’

He believes it will be a ‘bestseller’.

Another person close to Cohen told the publication that the expose was a long time coming.

‘He has been using his time wisely inside to write a book and no one should be surprised as he’s always talked about writing a book,’ the source told The Daily Beast.

‘Michael’s stories about Trump are incredible. He has saved a lot of them for when the time is right and the time is now right.

‘Michael spent a long time with Trump—he is going to go into everything and he’s not going to hold anything back. He has paid his dues and he’s pissed he had to go to jail for this.’ 

Michael Avenatti

Michael Avenatti

Michael Avenatti More than a year ago after Cohen's sentencing, Trump tweeted about knowledge of him shopping a book

More than a year ago after Cohen’s sentencing, Trump tweeted about knowledge of him shopping a book

Michael Avenatti Cohen tried to get his sentence reduced in March but a judge shut him down. Now due to COVID-19 he and many other prisoners will be released from the Federal Correctional Facility in Otisville, New York (pictured)

Cohen tried to get his sentence reduced in March but a judge shut him down. Now due to COVID-19 he and many other prisoners will be released from the Federal Correctional Facility in Otisville, New York (pictured)

Sources suggest he will have no problem shopping the book and publishers have estimated Cohen could get hundreds of thousands for it.

‘He was bragging he was going to have a one-hour television show on ABC and he said he would be like the Count of Monte Cristo and come back and get Trump,’ one of Cohen’s fellow inmates told The Daily Beast.

Cohen’s attorney, Roger Bennet Adler, declined to comment to the publication.

Cohen began serving his sentence last May and was scheduled to be released from prison in November 2021.

Cohen tried to get his sentence reduced in March but a judge shut him down.

‘That Cohen would seek to single himself out for release to home confinement appears to be just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle,’ U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III wrote then.

‘Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far reaching institutional harms.’