Michael Cohen will be released early from federal prison because of coronavirus—just weeks after a judge acidly dismissed his request for home confinement.
President Trump’s former fixer is serving a three-year sentence for lying to Congress, hush-money payments to a porn star and a Playboy model, and other crimes, and was scheduled for release in November 2021.
CNN reported that the Bureau of Prisons, which is trying to reduce the inmate population amid the pandemic, has notified Cohen that he can leave the federal lockup in Otisville, New York, after a 14-day quarantine and serve the rest of his sentence on house arrest.
At least 14 inmates and seven prison employees at Otisville have tested positive for COVID-19, and the virus has spread quickly and with deadly consequences through many jails and prisons across the country.
Earlier on Thursday, another Otisville inmate, disgraced New York politician Dean Skelos, was ordered released to home confinement after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The situation was not as dire when Cohen sought release last month—and the judge showed him no mercy.
“That Cohen would seek to single himself out for release to home confinement appears to be just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle,” U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III wrote then.
“Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far reaching institutional harms.”
Last week, the New York Post reported that Cohen had briefly been put into solitary confinement after getting into a dispute with another inmate over phone use.
A person close to Cohen told The Daily Beast that “his family is happy to have him come home and be safe.”