“Michael is no longer in solitary,” a source close to Cohen told Fox News Friday. However, the source was unable to give further details, saying that “neither his [Cohen’s] family or his attorneys have had a chance to even speak with him by phone.”
Cohen’s attorney Roger Adler told Fox News Thursday that “a verbal altercation with another inmate prompted” his client’s transfer to the Special Housing Unit (SHU), a disciplinary section of Otisville Federal Correctional Institution. Adler added that “the completion of a routine investigation” was pending.
Reuters reported that Cohen was placed in solitary confinement after another inmate complained about his internet use.
Cohen, 53, has been active on social media recently, calling on President Trump to have the Federal Bureau of Prisons allow for non-violent federal offenders, like Cohen himself, to be moved to home confinement during the coronavirus pandemic.
On March 24, a federal judge forcefully denied Cohen’s personal request to have his sentence shortened and be moved to home confinement.
“Apparently searching for a new argument to justify a modification of his sentence to home confinement, Cohen now raises the specter of COVID-19,” Senior U.S. District Judge William Pauley wrote in the order. “That Cohen would seek to single himself out for release to home confinement appears to be just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle.”
“Cohen has not even attempted to argue that he is uniquely at risk as compared to other inmates,” Pauley added. “Nor could he: He is 53 years old and in good health.”
Cohen is serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty in November 2018 to offenses that include tax fraud and lying to Congress. He admitted to illegally directing hush payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom claimed they had affairs with Trump.
Trump has denied the encounters.