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Jailed Trump lawyer Michael Cohen goes free because of virus risk

Homecoming: Masked Michael Cohen arrives at his New York apartment PICTURE: REUTERS

MICHAEL COHEN, the long-time fixer and personal lawyer of Donald Trump, was freed from federal prison yesterday to serve the remainder of his sentence at home.

Cohen, 53, was jailed last May after admitting a series of offences, including breaking campaign finance law by paying ‘hush money’ to porn actress Stormy Daniels to keep her alleged affair with the US president a secret.

He was not due to be released until November next year but was furloughed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which has been ordered to increase the use of home confinement because of the risk of coronavirus in jails.

Cohen, who had been at low-security FCI Otisville in New York, was seen being driven from jail by his son Jake and wearing a mask as he arrived at his Manhattan apartment.

Campaigners and congressional leaders have been pressing the Justice Department for weeks to release at-risk inmates ahead of a potential outbreak, arguing that social distancing is impossible behind bars.

The bureau said last week more than 2,400 inmates had been moved home since March and 1,200 others have approval to leave in the coming weeks.

Other high-profile inmates sent home include former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort; attorney Michael Avenatti, known for representing Ms Daniels, and former New York senate leader Dean Skelos, who had tested positive for coronavirus.