Michael Cohen leaves 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, on Monday called on a federal judge to suspend his criminal sentence while the judge weighs his request to approve his punishment by job and education loans received in jail.
The request came because Cohen is expected to meet for the ninth time later this week with investigators from the Manhattan District Office, Cyrus Vance Jr., who are conducting an extensive criminal investigation into Trump and the Trump Organization, a source she is working with familiar are the case said CNBC.
Vance is known to be investigating how the Trump firm recorded hush money payments that Cohen made possible for two women in 2016, and is also investigating Cohen’s allegations to Congress that the Trump organization artificially manipulated property valuations to obtain financial gain achieve.
In a letter to US District Judge John Koetl, Cohen wrote that his daily detention in Manhattan continues to be “a day Mr. Cohen is illegally detained”.
Cohen, who refused to comment on CNBC, wrote that he wanted Koetl “to order his release pending a decision” on whether his sentence has already been completed.
He also wrote: “The impetus for this request stems from the known fact that the Bureau of Prisons is moving through these petitions noticeably slowly in order to discuss resolve, particularly on matters such as the one before Your Honor, where the petitioner is released from custody will be in 7 months. “
If Koetl approves this motion, Cohen could freely leave his Upper East Side residence until at least the judge finally decides on his legal offer to declare his sentence complete.
Cohen, guilty of tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and making a false declaration to Congess, was released last spring after serving just over a year of his three-year prison sentence on coronavirus concerns .
In his pending petition to Koetl in Manhattan federal court, Cohen argued that his sentence was completed because of classes and assignments he completed in prison, which bought him time under the Trump-signed First Step Act. Cohen argues that its very last release date is May 29th.
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The federal prosecutor argued that Cohen was not entitled to any time credits he had identified for any work or course he had identified, “largely because Cohen did not have the need to reduce his risk of relapse in any of the areas in which he took courses or work.”
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York who opposed Cohen’s offer declined to comment on Monday.
In his letter on Monday, Cohen also drew Koetl’s attention to a filing in another case involving a federal inmate in which prosecutors apparently dropped two “misguided and flawed defenses” that they had used in Cohen’s case.
That defense is that Cohen’s claim to Koetl’s decision is not legally ripe because the First Step Act has not come into full effect and because he has failed to exhaust the administrative complaints to the US Bureau of Prisons.
Cohen began working with Vance’s probe before going to jail and continued speaking with investigators while he was incarcerated and after his release to detention center.