Michael Cohen is the key figure in the scandal over silent payments to alleged sex partners of Donald Trump. His sentence was commuted to arrest for Corona. Now he’s still moving in.

Photo series with 16 photos

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former private lawyer, is back behind bars. The 53-year-old, who was released from prison in May for the Corona pandemic, violated the terms of his house arrest, a spokesman for prison authorities said Thursday in New York. He was therefore re-admitted to a detention center.

Trump’s former right-hand man was released in May as part of measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus among prisoners. But he wasn’t allowed to leave his apartment. Last week, the New York Post published a photo of the lawyer showing him on the terrace of a restaurant in Manhattan, New York.

Legal adviser: Justification of the authorities “nonsense”

Cohen’s legal counsel, Lanny Davis, speculated, however, that his return to prison could be due to the former Trump administration’s intention to release a book in the coming months.

Cohen initially refused to comply with the conditions that he was not allowed to speak to the media and not publish the book, Davis told reporters. Cohen, however, then joined in when he was threatened with a return behind bars. Still, he was taken back to prison. Davis called Cohen’s return to his restaurant “nonsense.”

The world looked even better: Michael Cohen was allowed to leave prison at the end of May, but had to remain under house arrest. (Source: John Minchillo/AP/dpa)

Key figure in the silence scandal

Cohen was sentenced in December 2018 to three years in prison for tax and financial offenses and false statements. The lawyer had silenced two women who said they had had sex with Trump before the 2016 presidential election. One of them is the actress Stormy Daniels. Cohen violated campaign finance laws.

The U.S. Supreme Court also dealt with the legal consequences of the silent payments on Thursday: The Washington Supreme Court ruled that a New York prosecutor could in principle request financial documents from Trump as part of his investigation into the case. The President does not enjoy “absolute immunity” to prevent the release of such documents.

The court has imposed a heavy legal defeat on Trump. However, the case was also referred back to lower courts. So the legal battle over Trump’s tax returns and other financial records is likely to drag on.

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