Capitol Report: Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen says he learned about startups in prison as he pleads for early release

United States

Michael Cohen, former President Donald Trump’s ex-personal lawyer, said in a newly unsealed court document that he learned about startups in prison, as he pleaded to be released early from home confinement.

Cohen — who was convicted in 2018 on charges including campaign-finance violations related to a hush-money scheme involving women who alleged affairs with Trump — said in the document that the Federal Bureau of Prisons hasn’t adequately given him time credits for work he did and classes he took while in jail. Among those are business start-up and drug-education classes. Cohen sued in December, also reportedly citing the classes and claiming his sentence should be cut thanks to criminal-justice reform signed by Trump.

In filings made public Friday, prosecutors said Cohen must serve home confinement until Nov. 22, rejecting his arguments that he should be finished with his sentence. Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Rovner wrote that many of the programs Cohen completed while behind bars didn’t count as credit toward his sentence for technical reasons, the New York Daily News reported.  

Cohen says in his filing that his release date should be May 29, and that if he doesn’t get relief, he will “likely spend more time in confinement than he is required to under the law.” The material was unsealed at the request of media organizations including Dow Jones.

Cohen met for the eighth time on Friday with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, CNN reported. Prosecutors are interested in speaking with Cohen so he can help explain the Trump Organization, which they are investigating.

Cohen tweeted that he will appear on the Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC on Friday night “to discuss…well everything!”