Michael Cohen leaves after leaving the Manhattan Attorney’s Office in New York City on March 19, 2021.
Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for ex-President Donald Trump, sentenced federal prosecutors on Friday for their arguments against his efforts to end his criminal conviction of house arrest.
In a new lawsuit, Cohen accused prosecutors of “running out of time” by waiting until the last minute to file a response to his lawsuit asking a federal judge to rule that he was punished for Work and education has completed courses he completed in prison.
He said prosecutors “recycle the same lost arguments they previously put on other courts” in cases involving other federal convicts seeking an early end to their sentences under the federal First Step Act.
This bill, signed by Trump in 2018, aims to reduce the size of the federal prison population by having the US Attorney General develop a system that can assess and reduce the risk of inmates relapse through educational programs and other means.
On his file, Cohen also harshly criticized a federal prison case manager for submitting an affidavit, cited by prosecutors, in which Cohen effectively concluded that “he shouldn’t benefit from completed programs because he didn’t exercise, spirituality or needed parenting assistance. “”
The Manhattan resident wrote that case manager Nicole Gulliver told him and other inmates of the Otisville, New York prison at “mandatory city meetings” that “all courses and assignments earned good time / time credit under the First Step Act.”
“Gulliver’s affidavit is reprehensible in that it also seeks to split the programs she and the FCI Otisville staff directly imposed on Mr. Cohen, as well as the 380 days he worked, between the HVAC tube store and the Water treatment plant, decrease. ” wrote in his filing with the US District Court in Manhattan.
Cohen’s lawsuit asserts that he is entitled to declare the portion of his sentence as already satisfied or almost satisfied after months in prison.
He says his very last release date is May 29th.
Read more about CNBC’s political coverage:
However, in his file, he argues that credits he is entitled to from work and education programs mean that he “may have been released from prison more than 60 days ago”.
Cohen told CNBC, “The government continues to ignore the law and common sense as it makes the same failed arguments previously ruled by other federal courts.”
“Instead of continuing with their obvious delaying tactic, they should just do their job and follow the first step. They should give inmates, including myself, earned time credits,” Cohen said.
Prosecutors for the US District Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York argue that Cohen’s sentence will expire in late November. An SDNY spokesman declined to comment on Cohen’s filing.
Cohen, who served as Trump’s personal attorney for years, pleaded guilty to multiple tax evasion counts, two cases of illegal campaign contributions and a false statement to Congress in 2018.
In this case, he admitted that, on Trump’s instructions, two women who claimed to have had sexual relations with the former president were hiding payments.
Trump denies the women’s claims. But he reimbursed Cohen for the payments the attorney had personally made to one of them, pornstar Stormy Daniels.
Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison.
However, he was released to prison last spring as he was particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 infections due to his pre-existing health problems.
Even before his release, Cohen worked with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office on an ongoing criminal investigation into Trump and the Trump Organization. Cohen met with senior DA officials for the eighth time last week.
The Vance office is also investigating allegations, first made by Cohen in Congress, that the Trump Organization manipulated the valuation of various real estate assets to benefit financially in some cases from lower insurance and tax rates and in other cases from more favorable loan terms.
In their response to his lawsuit last week, prosecutors argued that Cohen had shown no late release injury and that the First Step Act does not require the Bureau of Prisons to request time credits for an inmate until January 15 , 2022.
Prosecutors also argued that “Cohen is not eligible to receive [earned time credits] for any of the courses or work that he identifies as completed. “
“This is primarily because Cohen does not need to reduce the risk of relapse in any of the areas in which he has completed courses or work,” the prosecutor wrote.
In other words, they argued that Cohen’s risk of committing another crime was already small and could not be reduced by the programs he participated in while in prison.
Cohen, in his response on Friday, wrote: “The government has completely wrong both the facts of this case and the relevant law.”
Cohen said while the first step law requires all programming for all inmates to be fully implemented by then, it is clear that qualified inmates could benefit from applying earned time credits by January 2020.
“Both the Attorney General and the BOP themselves have made statements in support of this interpretation,” Cohen wrote.
“There is real urgency to this problem,” Cohen wrote. “Every day this matter is pending is a day Mr. Cohen is being illegally detained.”
He asked a judge to order his release from custody immediately until his case is resolved so that if he wins the case, he would not spend unnecessary time in custody at home.