Michael Cohen is suing Attorney General William Barr, claiming he was thrown back in prison because he refused to put the kibosh on his tell-all book about President Trump.
Cohen — who was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion, bank fraud, and lying to Congress — was released in May after one year due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus inside Otisville prison.
But Cohen was locked up again on July 9 after the former Trump fixer was caught by a Post photographer chowing down at a Manhattan restaurant.
Federal officials said he violated the terms of his home confinement — and threw him into solitary confinement back at Otisville.
But Cohen, 53, claims in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan Monday that he was locked up because he refused to cancel plans to publish a behind-the-scenes book that would make Trump out to be “a cheat, a liar, a con man, a racist,” the suit said.
“While on furlough, Mr. Cohen repeatedly made public his intention to publish his book about President Trump soon,” the claim says.
“On July 2, 2020, he tweeted that he was putting the finishing touches on what promised to be a tell-all book about his experience with Mr. Trump.”
“Just one week later, on July 9, 2020, US Probation Officers, working on behalf of the (Bureau of Prisons), presented Mr. Cohen with an unconstitutional demand: As a condition of his release — a release BOP already had determined was necessary to protect Mr. Cohen’s health — he had to agree to a complete bar on speaking to or through any media of any sort, including via a book.”
Cohen said “he did not refuse,” but sought clarification on the prohibitions.
“The probation officers told Mr. Cohen that they would run those requests ‘up the chain’ to higher-ups at BOP,” the suit said. “Instead, Mr. Cohen was remanded to FCI Otisville, where he remains in solitary confinement today.”
The 21-page lawsuit, which names Barr and two federal prison officials, also claims that Cohen’s health is now at risk because of the spread of the deadly pandemic behind bars.
Cohen is asking for the court to release him back into home confinement and reimbursement for legal fees.
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