Speed Reads


Judge denies Michael Cohen's request to get out of prison early due to coronavirus

A federal judge on Tuesday said President Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen must "accept the consequences of his criminal convictions," and cannot leave prison early because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Cohen was sentenced in 2018 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress. He is now serving time at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York. His lawyers have argued that with the coronavirus spreading so easily, prisoners are "at an enhanced risk of catching the virus," and the federal Bureau of Prisons is "demonstrably incapable of safeguarding and treating" inmates.

Cohen requested that either his sentence be reduced to 12 months and a day or he serve the rest of his time in home confinement. U.S. District Judge William Pauley III was unmoved, writing on Tuesday that this was "just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle." Cohen has served 10 months of his prison term, Pauley said, and it is time he "accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that have had far reaching institutional harms."