Levine said Cohen had been ordered to appear at the federal court in downtown Manhattan to convert his furlough to home confinement but was detained after failing to agree to the terms of the federal location monitoring for the Southern District of New York. He said the detainment came after Cohen was presented with an agreement to not engage with the media.
“I’ve never seen any language like this in my life that would strip a person of their First Amendment rights to communicate with the media,” Levine said.
“We made our objections known to the probation officers and we asked what we can do to work it out,” he continued. Levine said he then “received an order and the US Marshals office came with shackles to shackle Michael Cohen.”
Cohen was serving a three-year sentence in New York after pleading guilty to lying to Congress, tax charges and two campaign finance charges for facilitating hush money payments to two women who alleged affairs with Trump. Trump has denied having affairs with the women.
A vocal surrogate for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, Cohen often sparred with reporters and appeared on television to support his longtime client.
But a months-long investigation by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York into Cohen exposed that he had acted with Trump and his allies, including David Pecker — the CEO of the National Enquirer’s publisher, American Media Inc. — to suppress potentially damaging claims against the now-President. When pleading guilty to his crimes, Cohen implicated the President, telling a federal judge that he had made the payments “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, who prosecutors identified in court filings as “Individual 1.”
His release violation comes in the middle of Trump’s reelection campaign and as the President is facing his greatest test: handling the coronavirus pandemic.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.