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Trump Hit With Another Lawsuit

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Michael Cohen is suing former President Donald Trump and other administration officials for allegedly making a gag order conditional to serving his prison sentence under house arrest as he was writing a tell-all memoir about his time with Trump.

Trump’s former personal lawyer and adviser is seeking $20 million in damages and a jury trial for retaliation by false imprisonment to prevent him from publishing his book, in addition to compensation for “extreme physical and emotional harm,” read the lawsuit filed Thursday in the Southern District of New York.

“Plaintiff, Michael D. Cohen, was retaliated against by the defendants for the lawful exercise of his First Amendment right to free speech, in relation to his public comments and upcoming publication of a book shortly before the 2020 election, critical of the former President of the United States, Donald J. Trump,” it read.

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Cohen said that after transitioning to home confinement for his health during the COVID-19 pandemic, he was working with federal prison authorities to make the situation permanent for the remainder of his sentence in July 2020. During this time, Cohen was tweeting about his memoir, which promised salacious details about Trump’s conduct behind closed doors.

An agreement reached with a federal prosecutor stipulated that Cohen could have “no engagement of any kind with the media, including print, tv, film, books, or any other form of media/news. Prohibition from all social media platforms.”

When Cohen asked for clarification, he waited for a half-hour before officials told him he would be returning to federal prison for not agreeing to the requirements of house arrest. He maintains he never outright refused to sign the document.

The agreement to silence Cohen was “completely uncharacteristic” of house arrest terms, the lawsuit alleges.

Cohen endured 16 days of solitary confinement after being ordered to return to federal prison in Otisville, New York, on July 9. A judge ruled on July 22 that the sentencing was retaliatory and allowed Cohen to serve the remainder of his sentence at home without any restrictions on his media use.

Trump’s onetime lawyer was sentenced to three years in jail in December 2018 after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations and lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia. He was released last month after serving 2 1/2 years.

Business Insider reports, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, is suing him and other members of the Trump administration, alleging they violated his right to free speech and had him placed in solitary confinement for two weeks after he threatened to publish damning information about the former president.

Last year, Cohen was held in federal prison, serving out a three-year sentence for financial crimes and lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings in Russia.

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In April 2020, he was released to home confinement after authorities determined that he stood a high risk of suffering serious consequences were he infected by the coronavirus.

For the next three months, Cohen remained in his Manhattan apartment, where he started posting on Twitter, using the hashtag #WillSpeakSoon to promote an upcoming tell-all book about his former boss.

Cohen then claimed federal authorities decided he would have to agree to a new condition — silence — if he were to remain at his home, according to the lawsuit filed Thursday with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

As of July 2020, the new policy stated Cohen could have “no engagement of any kind” with the media and “no posting on social media,” issued by Cohen’s probation officer, one of the subjects of his Thursday lawsuit.

When Cohen asked for clarification “and possible revision” at the meeting where the new terms of his home confinement were presented, he waited for 90 minutes while authorities “conferred,” his complaint states.

Authorities concluded on sending him back to prison, where Cohen says he was held in solitary confinement for 16 days.

A judge later that month ordered him released, instructing the government to refrain from “any continuing or future retaliation against Cohen for exercising his First Amendment rights.”

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