Michael Cohen Alleges in New Lawsuit He Was Re-Imprisoned as Retaliation for Tell-All Book About Trump

Michael Cohen, ex-Trump lawyer, says in a new lawsuit against William Barr and others that he was sent back to prison due to a tell-all book about the POTUS.


Image via Getty/Gotham


Michael Cohen, who worked as an attorney for Trump between 2006 and 2018, has filed a lawsuit alleging that he's back inside the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville because of a book he's working on that criticizes the POTUS.

The suit was filed on Cohen's behalf late Monday in federal court, per the Associated Press, and alleges his First Amendment rights were violated. Back in May, Cohen had been released into home confinement due to COVID-19 concerns. At the time, he had served just a year of a three-year stint stemming from having pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, as well as campaign finance-related charges.

In a statement, Ben Wizner—the director of the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project—said the government "cannot imprison" Cohen for writing a critical book about Trump. 

"The gag order that the government sought to impose on Mr. Cohen was an unconstitutional prior restraint, and his continued imprisonment is part of a dangerous pattern of retaliation against Trump critics," Wizner said on Monday.

Founding Perry Guha partner Danya Perry characterized the case as being centered on a "brazen assault" on the First Amendment.

"We trust that our Constitution will prevail and that free speech will continue to be protected, for our client and for all others by extension," Perry added.

As for the book, the suit—filed against against Attorney General William Barr, Bureau of Prisons director Michael Carvajal, and Otisville FCI warden James Petrucci—states that Cohen intended to release it ahead of the 2020 presidential election. The suit also argues that authorities got moving on getting Cohen back behind bars following Twitter activity about the then-impending book.

Latest in Life