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Michael Cohen leaves N.Y. prison for home due to COVID-19 risk

Michael Cohen leaves N.Y. prison for home due to COVID-19 risk
Attorney Michael D. Cohen is sworn in before testifying in front of the House oversight committee on February 27, 2019, in Washington D.C. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

May 21 (UPI) -- Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney, left prison Thursday to serve the remainder of his sentence at home due to risks associated with the coronavirus outbreak.

Cohen left the minimum-security prison in Otisville, N.Y., on Thursday morning.

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Attorney Jeffrey Levine said he expects a statement later from Cohen that will address his release.

Cohen had been at the New York prison since he was sentenced 12 months ago to three years in prison for lying to Congress, tax charges and campaign finance charges. Defense attorney Roger Adler said last month he'd hoped Cohen would be released in early May.

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Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging a hush money scheme in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign to pay two women who said they had affairs with Trump.

It was decided late Wednesday that Cohen would serve the rest of his time at home due to the pandemic. His attorneys had argued the coronavirus disease posed a threat to Cohen due to its spread in the prison system.

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The Justice Department and Bureau of Prisons has already released a number of non-violent and at-risk inmates early, including former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who was transferred last week.

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A federal judge initially rejected Cohen's request to be released in March after Adler said he'd been hospitalized twice and has a pre-existing pulmonary condition, which health experts say can make the coronavirus much more serious. Adler said Wednesday Cohen's compassion release application had now been "viewed favorably."

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