Michael Cohen sues Attorney General William Barr for retaliation in his latest attempt to get out of prison

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In a court filed Monday night against Attorney General William Barr, the head of the Bureau of Prisons and the director of the federal prison in Otisville, New York, Cohen’s lawyers alleged that the Justice Department retaliated against Cohen for writing a book about the years. he worked for Trump, violating his First Amendment right to free speech. The United States Civil Liberties Union joined Cohen in the lawsuit.

“The First Amendment prohibits the defendant from imprisoning Mr. Cohen in retaliation for writing a book on the president and for seeking to publish this book soon,” Cohen’s lawyers wrote in the court file.

“The government’s effort to exert pre-restraint on Mr. Cohen’s book is just the latest in the Trump administration’s efforts to censor speech that negatively reflects Trump himself or his administration,” he said. -he declares.

CNN has contacted the Justice Department for comment.

Cohen was held in solitary confinement at Otisville Federal Prison after being returned to custody on July 9 when he backed down to a provision in his home segregation agreement that allegedly banned his use of social media and its engagement with the media, especially books.The filing is the latest in an unusual series of twists and turns surrounding Cohen’s conviction since he pleaded guilty in 2018 to tax evasion, false statements to Congress and facilitating silent payments to two women who alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen is serving a three-year prison sentence.

In May, Cohen was released from prison halfway through his sentence and placed on leave as part of the Bureau of Prisons dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. His attorneys allege the Bureau of Prisons had no problem with Cohen’s release for almost a month until Cohen began tweeting about his book and supporting a decision in favor of a book. posted by Mary Trump, the President’s niece.

On July 9, Cohen and his attorney Jeffrey Levine attended the Federal Courthouse in lower Manhattan to transfer his leave status to house arrest and be fitted with an electronic monitoring device.

During a meeting with probation officers, Cohen received a copy of a monitoring agreement form from the federal location that stated as a condition of release that Cohen would be banned from posting on social media and from s ‘engage with the media – specifically listing’ books’.

Cohen objected, and Levine previously told CNN that probation officials said they would check with supervisors to see if this condition could be removed. Cohen’s lawyers claim he never refused to sign the release form. When the officials returned, Cohen was shackled by the United States Marshals.

A spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons previously said that Cohen was taken into custody after “refusing to accept the requirements for the program and the home placement.”

Several defense attorneys and legal experts told CNN that the media ban provision was unusual.

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