Cohen, 53 will now have to do his hard time in his luxury apartment in Manhattan, where he can work on his tell-all book against Trump.
Cohen has run cons his entire career. He claimed urgent medical needs for release from prison. Of course, he previously claimed health problems in failing to appear to testify only to be spotted out on the town for a fancy dinner. Cohen previously (and implausibly) reinvented himself as a redemptive sinner and received financial support from Trump critics. He is apparently getting support from Rosie O’Donnell.
He is not alone. Former Trump campaign chair, Paul Manafort, was released earlier to his own golden cage.
The fact is that the Bureau of Prisons has been releasing thousands and it would have been troubling to make an exception for Cohen. The President clearly would prefer Cohen to remain in jail but he has a right to be treated the same as other prisoners who meet the criteria. Indeed, there were concerns over the delay in the release. Dozens of federal inmates have died of the virus and a dozen inmates tested positive at Cohen’s prison in Otisville, N.Y.
Despite the correctness of the decision, the release will not sit well with many who felt that Cohen got off lightly given his unlawful record. Yet, good things often happen for bad people. Cohen, who spent his career as a legal thug, may have few ethics but he has shown a knack for being, in this circumstance, at the right place at the wrong time.
Now to another set of potential beneficiaries: Lori Loughlin and Mossimo Giannulli. These are short sentences and the BOP just expanded releases to inmates who have not served half of their sentences. It may actually serve them to get a quick sentence under the new BOP policy-and before a vaccine is developed. They could become eligible as non-violent inmates to serve their sentences at home. It is not clear if this factored into the decision or whether there is a side agreement with the prosecutors not to oppose such a motion. However, they would need to move before a vaccine comes available by the end of the year or early 2021 to best take advantage of such an option. This is a good time to plead guilty to a non-violent federal offense. You just might be able to plead guilty to a federal crime and avoid ever seeing the inside of a federal prison.