A “smiling” Michael Cohen left prison Friday and headed back to home confinement thanks to a judge’s ruling that the feds locked him up in retaliation for plans to write a tell-all book about President Trump.
Cohen, who was once President Trump’s personal lawyer, departed the Otisville federal prison in Orange County around 2 p.m., his lawyer Jeff Levine said.
“He was smiling,” said Levine, who FaceTimed with Cohen as his brother and son drove him back to Manhattan in a black Porsche.
“Last time I saw him, it was the opposite,” said Levine. “It’s a relief to him and frankly to me to see that he’s in a better place now and there’s so much to do.”
Cohen arrived at his Park Ave. apartment at 5:30 p.m. wearing a blue suit jacket and New York Rangers hat. He’d made a pit stop to be fitted for an ankle monitor.
Cohen’s return to home confinement was ordered by Manhattan Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein, who ruled Thursday that the Department of Justice threw him back behind bars for promoting the book that will detail his work for Trump.
The book will include racist comments Trump made about Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela, according to court filings.
Cohen had at least a few supporters among the passersby who saw his return home before a gaggle of press.
“I like him. Michael Cohen was the first one from Trump’s posse — from his tribe of scumbags, the ill-educated followers — to come forward and try to redeem himself,” said Ken Holiday, 39, of Long Island City, Queens.
“ And he was clear with it. He said, ‘I did it. I was sucked in by the money, by the limelight, the fame and the power,‘” Holiday said. “You don’t often hear that from people, but especially the people that Trump has brought in.”
Cohen was returned to prison July 9 after he and Levine were presented with an unusual gag order during a check-in with a probation officer in lower Manhattan. Cohen had been on a form of home confinement due to the risk of catching coronavirus behind bars.
He is serving a three-year sentence for campaign finance violations, tax fraud, lying to Congress and other crimes.
Holiday added that he didn’t see himself buying Cohen’s book, but that he might borrow it from a friend.
“Right now, I think I know enough,” Holiday said.