Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen out of solitary confinement

Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump leaves his apartment to report to prison in New York

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney to U.S. President Donald Trump, has been removed from solitary confinement in a federal prison where he is serving time for violating campaign finance laws, his attorney told Reuters on Saturday.

Cohen was transferred on Wednesday to a Special Housing Unit at the Otisville Federal Correctional Institution in New York state, a disciplinary section of the prison, Reuters reported this week.

Cohen’s attorney, Roger Adler, said Cohen had been moved out of solitary confinement on Friday, but did not provide the reason. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) said it does not comment on the confinement conditions of individual inmates.

Prior to the transfer, Cohen had been housed in a minimum-security camp at the facility, which is about 70 miles (110 km) northwest of New York City.

Cohen, who once said he would “take a bullet” for Trump, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for directing hush payments to pornographic film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claimed they had affairs with Trump. Trump has denied having the encounters.

In March, Cohen pressed to be released early due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has hammered New York state and surfaced in prisons around the country.

The Bureau of Prisons said that as of Friday, 318 federal inmates and 163 staffers had tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus. Five inmates and four staffers at Otisville have tested positive, according to the bureau.

Adler said he is concerned that inmates and corrections officers are not routinely tested for the virus and said the bureau “may well be underreporting the incidence of the pandemic.”

Cohen was placed in solitary after another inmate complained about his internet use, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters this week.

He is eligible for release in November 2021.

(Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Additional reporting and writing by Ted Hesson; Editing by Scott Malone, Leslie Adler and Jonathan Oatis)

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