Michael Cohen cannot hold Trump liable for retaliatory prison, appeals court says

(Mary Altaffer/Associated Press)

Michael Cohen cannot hold Trump liable for retaliatory prison, appeals court says


January 2, 2024

Michael Cohen can’t hold on to his former boss

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Trump liable because he was jailed for what he claimed was retaliation for writing a tell-all memoir, an appeals court said Tuesday.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said in an order that it would not revive a lawsuit that a lower court judge dismissed because the law did not appear to provide damages for most claims that someone was jailed as retaliation for their criticism of a president.

A three-judge panel concluded that Cohen had already won relief by persuading a judge to order his release from prison to home confinement, just weeks after he was abruptly put behind bars when the government alleged severe restrictions on his public communications had violated. It was said that the law did not allow for more relief than that.

Cohen served more than a year of a three-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty in 2018 to tax evasion, campaign finance charges and lying to Congress. Trump ordered him to arrange the payment of hush money to a pornographic actor to ward off damage to his 2016 presidential bid.

Cohen was released early to home confinement as authorities tried to contain the coronavirus outbreak in federal prisons. He was sent back to prison weeks later when authorities alleged he had not accepted certain conditions of his release.

At the time, Cohen said he was merely seeking clarification on a condition banning him from speaking to the media and publishing his book.

After spending sixteen days in solitary confinement, which Cohen said left him with shortness of breath, severe headaches and anxiety, he was eventually released on the orders of a judge who said he had been jailed in retaliation for his desire to publish a critical book to publish. the president and to discuss this on social media.

Cohen sued Trump and then

-Atty. General Orney General

William P. Barr, along with several prison and probation officials.

Cohen said in a statement Tuesday that he will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

If democracy is to prevail, the outcome is wrong. A habeas corpus writ cannot be the only consequence preventing a rogue president from weaponizing the Justice Department by jailing his/her critics for refusing to waive their First Amendment rights, he said .

Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, said in a statement: We are very pleased with today’s ruling. Mr. Cohen’s lawsuit was doomed from the start. We will continue to fight against all frivolous lawsuits against our client.


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