Michael Cohen and federal government reach agreement on house arrest conditions

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In a letter to Judge Alvin Hellerstein, prosecutors wrote that Cohen had agreed to the terms contained in a re-entry form used by the Prisons Office that will supersede the previous agreement. A federal judge found the original agreement too restrictive on Cohen’s First Amendment rights to communicate publicly and to the media.

“The parties agree that a specific provision regarding the petitioner’s contact with the media is not necessary,” according to the letter, which adds, “therefore, it is not necessary for the Court to resolve any other dispute regarding the restrictions to the petitioner’s contacts with the media. ”

Earlier this month, Cohen was returned to custody after opposing several conditions of release, in particular the ban on engaging with the media. Cohen sued, alleging retaliation in order to stop a revealing book he is writing about President Donald Trump. Hellerstein agreed and ordered both sides to come up with parameters to govern Cohen’s communications with the press.

Cohen plans to publish the book by September, two months before the presidential election.

In a telephone hearing, the judge said there should be limits. For example, he said, Cohen should be allowed to post a book and a tweet, but he shouldn’t be allowed to hold a press conference from his apartment, just as he hasn’t been able to hold one for a long time. prison cell.

Under the new conditions, the government dropped all restrictions on Cohen’s communications with the media. He will have to undergo monthly screening tests, abstain from alcohol consumption and stay at home, except when authorized or employed.

Cohen also agreed to seek approval from the Bureau of Prisons before getting a job, a sticking point in the original deal. Prosecutors said the requirement was routine and that “this approval will not be unreasonably denied.”

The deal will require Hellerstein’s approval. Prosecutors said they did not intend to appeal the judge’s previous decision.

Cohen was released at home on Friday, where he will serve the remainder of his three-year sentence. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to tax evasion, lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws for facilitating silent payments to two women who alleged dealings with the president. (Trump denied the business.)

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