Video screenshot

Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen headed back to federal prison Thursday after loving the First Amendment too much, according to his attorney, or maybe because he had failed to hew to the terms for being detained at home, if you believe the Deep State, or maybe because the Trump administration wants him quiet, if you're reading between the lines. Cohen had been serving a three-year sentence for Bad Campaign and Non-Campaign Fuckery, at a minimum-security camp next to the federal prison in Otisville, New York, but was transferred to home confinement May 20 after he asked very nicely to be released because of fears of the coronavirus.

Michael Cohen Sent Back To Jail Following Visit To Manhattan Restaurant | MSNBC youtu.be

The federal Bureau of Prisons told CNN Cohen had "refused the conditions of his home confinement and as a result, has been returned to a BOP facility." Cohen's attorney, Jeffrey Levine, said that Cohen had been given an offer he had to refuse. Cohen had

been presented with an agreement not to engage with the media through any medium including books -- a restriction that would block the release of his forthcoming tell-all about his time working with Trump which he said was "close to completion" earlier this month.

"I've never seen any language like this in my life that would strip a person of their First Amendment rights to communicate with the media," Levine said.

We suppose being back at Club Fed will remove some of the distractions that writers are plagued by, like interruptions from pets, family, social media, and the Entire Outside World.


Now, if you were of a very cynical cast of mind, you might almost think that the Bureau of Prisons' decision to terminate Cohen's home detention might somehow be related to yesterday's Supreme Court decision allowing New York state prosecutors to subpoena financial records from Donald Trump's accountants. As Katie Tur says in the video above, reporters had been expecting Cohen to comment on that today, but wouldn't you know it, he wouldn't agree to a gag order, so off he went, back to jail. (Rachel Maddow, who knows from cynicism, noted last night that the Bureau of Prisons is of course part of the Justice Department, and AG Bill Barr has already taken an interest in Cohen's case.)

Judging by Levine's comments to CNN, you might think Cohen were an oppressed Soviet dissident sent to the gulag for his anti-Stalin poetry.

"We made our objections known to the probation officers and we asked what we can do to work it out," he continued. Levine said he then "received an order and the US Marshals office came with shackles to shackle Michael Cohen." [...]

"I think it's probably the language in the agreement, which, again, I don't know who gets stripped of their First Amendment rights, but it probably has to do with the optics of everything," he said.

Also, Cohen was photographed July 2 having a nice dinner at a fancy French restaurant with his wife, according to the New York Post, which published the photos last week. Another Cohen lawyer, Roger B. Adler, told the New York Times that Cohen believed the terms of his release totally allowed him to have a nice sidewalk table at Le Bilboquet. Adler said he was "unaware of any conduct" by Cohen "which would have warranted interfering with his medical furlough." That's how you "home confinement" all right, as well as how you "medical furlough" to avoid infection from the coronavirus. And Michael Cohen's unaware of "why not."

Heck, the Post reported that after they finished dinner the Cohens very responsibly put on face masks before saying goodnight to the other couple they dined with, so you have to wonder why Cohen didn't have his entire sentence reduced to time served.

Asked whether the photographs had played any role in Cohen's return to prison, Levine told CNN, "I would leave that to your viewers." But we read the story on the website, so perhaps we missed some nuance there.

In any case, we wish Michael Cohen well in his writing, and offer him this professional writing advice, from our own experience as a professional political blogger: If a story takes place in either Kentucky or Tennessee, double-check that you haven't mixed them up again. Oh, and also, you can still be a writer if you don't wear pants.

[CNN / NYT]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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