Michael Cohen: Trump's former lawyer to be released from prison

Expected to spend remainder of sentence at home amid pandemic fears

Michael Cohen will hold a press conference Monday before entering prison

Donald Trump‘s former attorney Michael Cohen – currently serving a three-year prison sentence for lying to congress and campaign finance violations involving hush money to women who have claimed to have had affairs with the president – will serve the remainder of his sentence at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

He is among non-violent offenders released by federal corrections agencies as prisons become vulnerable to viral spread.

Cohen is expected to be released as early as Thursday, according to reports.

Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, was released from prison last week after serving only a fraction of a seven-year sentence following his conviction and guilty plea on charges related to tax violations and foreign lobbying.

Both men were central to special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russian interference in 2016 elections.

Manafort, whose attorney said he was at risk for Covid-19 complications because of respiratory and liver issues, was set to be released in 2024.

Attorneys for both men had sought their early releases, although Cohen was abruptly prevented from his release earlier this month after being notified in April that he would spend his sentence at home.

The White House has denied playing a role in their releases.

The president’s former personal attorney was among his steadfast defenders before implicating Mr Trump in payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, who both claimed to have had sexual affairs with Mr Trump. The president has denied the affairs.

On behalf of Mr Trump, Cohen said he paid Ms Daniels $130,000, and he arranged $150,000 to Ms McDougal from the publisher of the National Enquirer in an effort to prevent politically damaging stories from reaching the public prior to the 2016 election.

Behind bars, Cohen – while seeking home detention – wrote that he was an “enabler” for the Trump Organisation, lured by its “magnetic, charismatic and powerful” figurehead.

In a six-page sworn affirmation filed in a US District Court in December, Cohen said that everything he ”thought was important and valuable has been painfully revealed as derived” from a “Faustian bargain” in which he cast the president as the Devil, to whom Cohen “sold his soul” and “foolishly frittered away his integrity” on behalf of the president.

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