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Michael Cohen released from prison again

Michael Cohen back in federal custody
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen back in federal custody for violating terms of early release 00:33

Michael Cohen, the president's former personal attorney, has been released from prison again and was back at his home in New York City Friday evening. 

"I just spoke with my client as he left FCI Otisville," his attorney Danya Perry said earlier Friday. "He is extremely gratified that the court upheld his fundamental constitutional right to speak freely and publicly, and he looks forward to doing exactly that."

A Manhattan federal judge ordered that Cohen be released by Friday afternoon after he had been sent back to a New York prison for resisting the terms of home confinement. 

Cohen was sent home in May because of the coronavirus pandemic but was detained again on July 9 after questioning an agreement that would prevent him from publishing his book, speaking to news organizations and posting on social media.

He sued Attorney General Bill Barr and the director of the Bureau of Prisons, arguing that being sent back to prison was a violation of his constitutional rights. Cohen had publicly announced that he was in the process of writing a book about his former employer, President Trump, and said that being thrown back in prison was a form of retaliation.

Judge Alvin Hellerstein found that returning Cohen from home confinement to jail was "retaliatory," that it punished Cohen for wanting "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." 

In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to financial and campaign finance crimes and lying to Congress about his involvement in an effort to build a "Trump Tower" in Moscow during the 2016 campaign.

He will now serve the rest of his three-year sentence from home. 

Paula Reid contributed to this report.

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