Judge Says Bill Barr Full Of Sh*t, Sends Michael Cohen Back To Home-Jail
Michael Cohen has been in solitary confinement ever since he was sent back to prison under the strangest pretenses. Bill Barr's Department of Justice and the Bureau of Prisons said he was being a very bad boy who was "antagonistic" toward his probation officers. This was after Cohen, like an idiot, was spotted dining in fancy restaurants after begging off jail because of fear of coronavirus. That seems like it would have been a fine reason to send him back to jail, except that it was not at all the reason they sent him back to jail.
Cohen's lawyers said actually Barr and the Bureau of Prisons were retaliating against Cohen because he was writing a tell-all book about Donald Trump. You all know how litigious Trump has been about "books" lately. To be clear, even federal prisoners are allowed to write books. As Wonkette's Liz Dye explained when she wrote about the lawsuit Cohen filed against Barr, the Bureau of Prisons actually encourages inmates to let their creative juices flow, including by writing books. Its guidance says an inmate like Cohen could also write poetry or compose a cantata, or even make art! They don't mention whether they're allowed to choreograph interpretive dances, but really, it's probably fine. Puppet show? Fuck, if Michael Cohen's making a puppet show, then we're ... OK, we're not watching it, but if that's where the Muses are leading him, it's probably fine!
Point is, it was pretty clear Cohen was being singled out for special treatment, but in the opposite way from how Bill Barr singled out Roger Stone for special treatment. If you are friends with the criminal shit-king, you get treated nicely. If the criminal shit-king is mad at you, you get Kremlin-style treatment. Because the America of Donald Trump and Bill Barr is not actually America.
That lawsuit went to court today, and the judge spent about five seconds listening to DOJ and BOP pinky swear that they were acting in a completely legit and regular fashion, then called them a bunch of a fucking liars, and now Michael Cohen is going home.
A federal judge on Thursday ordered President Trump's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen released from prison to home confinement, saying the Justice Department's move to take him back into custody earlier this month was retaliation for writing a book about his former boss.
U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein said Cohen must be released from an upstate federal prison by 2 p.m. Friday after being tested for coronavirus at the facility, where he's been held in a solitary setting since being rearrested July 9. He will then go into home confinement in Manhattan. [...]
"I make the finding that the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory and it's retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and with others," Hellerstein said in a scathing finding during a phone conference hearing Thursday morning.
Huh. It's almost like Bill Barr wearing his naked corruption on his naked meat sleeves, not even pretending he's not burning down the Department of Justice and turning it into a vehicle for the protection of the misdeeds of one orange bastard doesn't amuse judges very much. Guess you really haven't earned any sort of presumption of regularity when you're acting like that.
There are a lot more details on what happened in the hearing, the agreement Cohen had to sign, the new agreement they now have to negotiate, and so forth, and if you care about the minutiae, Politico has a good write-up.
We told you the point, though, which is that the judge thinks Bill Barr's Department of Justice is full of shit and Michael Cohen is on his way to home-jail now.
GO BACK TO HOME-JAIL, MICHAEL COHEN! And, like, write us a good book, OK? No fucking puppet shows, though, because we're NOT INTO IT.
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