Trump's former lawyer to leave prison for home confinement
Michael Cohen will on Friday be allowed to return to his flat in Manhattan to complete his three-year sentence, after a judge decided he had been put back in jail in retaliation for planning to release a book about the president.
US district judge Alvin Hellerstein ordered that Mr Cohen be released by 2 pm EDT from the prison where he is being held in New York state.
In May, Trump's former lawyer was furloughed from jail as a result of fears over coronavirus in prisons.
"I make the finding that the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory and it's retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book," Mr Hellerstein said at a hearing on Thursday.
US Judge Alvin Hellerstein issued the ruling during a tele-hearing on Thursday.
He said that Cohen's return to jail was "retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and with others".
The Manhattan judge added that, in 21 years on the bench, he had never seen such a provision for a prisoner. "How can I take any other inference but that it was retaliatory?"
It is amazing for one person to be involved with so many criminals... Cohen was Trump's personal lawyer for some time.