In the midst of the global pandemic and a worsening economic crisis, one of the president’s most loathed turncoats got word that he’d receive an early release from prison to serve the rest of his sentence at home due to concerns over the coronavirus. The prisoner, his family, his friends were all relieved and predictably ecstatic when they got the news.
Donald Trump was not.
According to those who spoke to him about it this month, the president was visibly agitated, bemoaning the early release of Michael Cohen, his former fixer and lawyer turned “rat” for the feds.
Cohen was serving three years in prison after taking a plea deal over illegal hush-money payments to two women, which he said Trump directed him to make. Trump denied directing Cohen to commit a crime, even though published audio exists of the two men privately discussing the hush money.
Cohen was scheduled for release in November 2021, but he will be allowed to serve the remainder of his sentence from home confinement, the people said. He will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine at the prison camp before he is released.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to tax fraud, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. He admitted to helping facilitate hush money payments to two women who alleged past affairs with Trump. Trump has denied having affairs with the women.
When pleading guilty, Cohen implicated Trump, telling a federal judge that he had made the payments “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump, who prosecutors identified in court filings as “Individual 1.”
Cohen had been a vocal surrogate for Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, often sparring with reporters and appearing on television to support his longtime client. His pending early release comes in the middle of Trump’s reelection campaign and as the President is facing his greatest test: handling the pandemic.
The president also discussed pursuing legal options against Cohen, if anything in his ex-fixer’s upcoming, dishy book on Trump breaks attorney-client privilege or is deemed defamatory or libelous, according to two individuals familiar with the matter.
“He was not pleased when he found out Michael was getting out early,” one of the individuals bluntly stated.
Trump is said to be particularly irritated by what Cohen could detail in his upcoming, potentially explosive memoir, and whether its contents would perturb Trump enough to sue Cohen. This new manuscript comes two years after Cohen’s hopes of publishing a prior memoir—a pro-Trump screed with the working title of Trump Revolution—were dashed amid his escalating legal woes.
A person close to Cohen said he was still “pissed” that he went to prison for crimes that Trump allegedly ordered him to commit, and the book would pull no punches and zero in on Trump’s treatment of women.
Similar Trump “tell-alls” from the likes of the president’s once sycophantic adviser and Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault Newman have contained an allegation that he used the N-word, while a book about Trump and women released last year, titled All The President’s Women, contained 43 new allegations of alleged inappropriate behavior with women, including 26 instances of unwanted sexual contact. (The official position of the Trump White House is that all the women accusing this president of sexual harassment or assault are lying.)
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