A federal magistrate judge overseeing US President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen’s lawsuit against Justice Department officials over his recent incarceration has scheduled a hearing for a temporary restraining order on Thursday. Cohen will be released from prison to home confinement if the judge grants the order.
The lawsuit, filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union and law firm Perry Guha LLP on behalf of Cohen, also states that the disgraced attorney’s tell-all book will describe how the president made racist comments about former US President Barack Obama and the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.
“Mr. Cohen’s book describes Mr. Cohen’s first-hand experiences with Mr. Trump, and it provides graphic details about the President’s behavior behind closed doors. For example, the narrative describes pointedly certain anti-Semitic remarks against prominent Jewish people and virulently racist remarks against such Black leaders as President Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela,” states the lawsuit, filed in the New York Federal Court on Monday against US Attorney General William Barr, US Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal and James Petrucci, the warden of the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York.
“The book will rely upon and publish numerous previously unknown anecdotes, supported by documentary evidence.”
The lawsuit also states that Cohen is currently being detained in federal prison as retaliation for his forthcoming tell-all book on the president, which he is currently in the process of writing. The working title of Cohen’s book is “Disloyal: The True Story of Michael Cohen, Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump.”
“Petitioner Michael Cohen is currently being held at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York (‘FCI Otisville’), in solitary confinement. He is being held in retaliation for his protected speech, including drafting a book manuscript that is critical of the President — and recently making public his intention to publish that book soon, shortly before the upcoming election,” the lawsuit states.
Cohen is serving a three-year sentence after being convicted on charges of bank fraud, campaign finance law violations and lying to Congress.
In 2018, the attorney pleaded guilty to wiring $130,000 to adult movie actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 US presidential election season to prevent her from discussing her alleged intimate encounter with Trump. However, Cohen was released into home confinement in May of this year over concerns that he could be exposed to COVID-19 in prison.
However, after a July 2 tweet in which he said he was “close to completion” of his book on Trump, Cohen found himself back in prison just one week later.
“The government’s effort to exercise prior restraint over Mr. Cohen’s book is only the latest in the Trump Administration’s efforts to censor speech that reflects negatively on Trump himself or his Administration,” the lawsuit states.