Michael Cohen’s Attempt to Revive Lawsuit Against Trump Thwarted by Appeals Court
On Tuesday, Michael Cohen’s attempt to resurrect his case against former President Trump—in which he claimed he was imprisoned as payback for penning a tell-all book—was rejected by a federal appeals court.
In a ruling, the Manhattan-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that it would not bring the lawsuit back. A lower court judge had dismissed the action, finding that most claims that someone was imprisoned in reprisal for criticizing a president were not covered by the statute, which did not appear to offer a damages remedy.
The court of appeals concluded on Tuesday that Cohen had already gotten relief when he persuaded a judge to order his release from jail to home confinement, which occurred many weeks after Cohen was arrested on charges of serious violations of his public communications limitations.
The court ruled that there was no more avenue for relief beyond that offered under the statute.
Cohen admitted to committing tax evasion, campaign finance violations, and providing a false statement to Congress in 2018. He was sentenced to three years in federal prison, of which he spent more than a year there.
Cohen, nevertheless, declared to Fox News Digital that he would take the case to the Supreme Court.
Cohen told Fox News Digital, “If democracy is to prevail, the outcome is wrong.” “A writ of habeas corpus cannot be the only consequence to stop a rogue president from weaponizing the Department of Justice from locking up his/her critics in prison because they refuse to waive their first amendment right.”
He continued: “We will be filing a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court.”
Cohen’s lawyer, Jon-Michael Doherty of Gilbert LLP, announced in a statement on Tuesday that they want to take the case all the way to “the highest court in the land.”
“While we are of course disappointed in the Second Circuit’s ruling, our consistent expectation has been that this novel issue involving the appropriate remedy against a rogue President who seeks to use the prisons to silence his critics would need to be addressed by the United States Supreme Court,” he stated. “In America, an adequate remedy against this sort of abuse of power must deter future misconduct by federal officials.”
He continued: “We look forward to taking the fight for Americans’ right to speak freely about their government without fear of imprisonment to the highest court in the land.” In 2020, Cohen brought the first legal action.
Fox News Digital was told by Trump’s lawyer Alina Habba that they are “very pleased with today’s ruling.”
Habba told Fox News Digital, “Mr. Cohen’s lawsuit was doomed from its inception.” “We will continue to fight against any frivolous suits aimed at our client.”
On May 21, 2020, Cohen was placed on furlough to complete his three-year sentence; however, it is alleged that he neglected to complete the appropriate procedures to complete the transfer. The Bureau of Prisons claimed in a statement that Cohen was being stubborn rather than following the guidelines of the Federal Location Monitoring (FLM) program run by the U.S. Probation Office.
“Any assertion that the decision to remand Michael Cohen to prison was a retaliatory action is patently false,” the Bureau of Prisons stated at the time.
When Cohen was being moved to home confinement, the Bureau of Prisons stated that he “refused to agree to the terms of the program, specifically electronic monitoring.”
The agency claimed that he was “argumentative” and that he “was attempting to dictate the conditions of his monitoring, including conditions relating to self-employment, access to media, use of social media, and other accountability measures.” Cohen additionally allegedly “refused to acknowledge and sign the conditions of his transfer of home confinement and was remanded into custody.”
“While it is not uncommon for BOP to place certain restrictions on inmates’ contact with the media, Mr. Cohen’s refusal to agree to those conditions here played no role whatsoever in the decision to remand him to secure custody nor did his intent to publish a book,” the bureau stated at the time.
The Bureau of Prisons refutes the judge’s ‘false’ allegation that Michael Cohen’s imprisonment was retaliatory due to a planned book.
Alvin Hellerstein, the U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, declared in July 2020 that Cohen’s impending tell-all book was the reason behind the “retaliatory” move to send him back to prison. According to Hellerstein, Cohen was handcuffed by probation authorities after they insisted he refrain from speaking to the media.
In my twenty-one years as a judge and sentence officer, I have never seen a clause like this. Is there any other conclusion I could draw but that it was revengeful? At the time, Hellerstein said.
Both the Bureau of Prisons and the Justice Department, then headed by Attorney General Bill Barr, disputed that the action was retaliatory at the time.
This report was made possible by the Associated Press.