Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, was taken back into custody on Thursday for violating the terms of his early release from prison, his attorney told reporters from CNN and other outlets.
The lawyer, Jeffrey Levine, indicated that Cohen was sent by U.S. marshals back to federal custody after he objected to language in an agreement not to talk to the media or to publish a book while in home confinement.
Cohen, who had been sentenced to three years in prison in 2018, was released early in May amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
“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, according to CNBC.
But Cohen had appeared in a New York Post photo last week dining out at a restaurant. It was not immediately clear whether that is what led authorities to take him back into custody.
In 2018, Cohen pled guilty to campaign finance violations related to the payment of hush money to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Donald Trump, allegations that the president denies. Cohen also pled guilty to tax fraud and making false statements to a bank, and of one count of lying to Congress. He testified before the House Oversight Committee in February, 2019, alleging a series of misdeeds on the part of Trump, who he called a “con man.”
Last week, Cohen tweeted about the pending release of a book by Mary Trump, the president’s niece. An appeals judge last week cleared the way for Simon & Schuster to publish the book, now scheduled for Tuesday.