Speed Reads

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Michael Cohen to be released from prison early due to coronavirus pandemic

Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer, was told on Thursday that due to the coronavirus pandemic, he is being released from prison early and will finish the remainder of his sentence in home confinement, his lawyer told CNN.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to tax fraud, campaign finance violations, and lying to Congress. Last year, he began serving a three-year sentence at a federal prison in Otisville, New York, where 14 inmates and seven staff members have tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. Cohen was set to be released in November 2021. Before he can leave the prison, Cohen must complete a 14-day quarantine.

Last month, a federal judge rejected Cohen's request for either a reduced sentence or home confinement. The Bureau of Prisons has been letting some nonviolent and ill inmates out to finish their sentences at home, as coronavirus spreads through its facilities; an online tracking system shows that 473 inmates and 279 staffers have tested positive for COVID-19, and 18 inmates have died, CNN reports. There are more than 143,000 federal prisoners in the United States.