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Michael Cohen Back in Custody After Dining at Restaurant

Michael Cohen arrives back at home after being released from prison in New York, May 21, 2020. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen is back in federal custody, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed, less than a week after Cohen was photographed at a New York City restaurant — in apparent violation of his home confinement.

“Today, Michael Cohen refused the conditions of his home confinement and as a result, has been returned to a BOP facility,” a BOP spokesperson told the New York Post on Thursday. Cohen’s lawyer Jeffrey Levine explained that he was with Cohen at the federal probation office in Lower Manhattan on Thursday when he was taken into custody. He added that Cohen is being moved to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn.

Cohen was filmed by MSNBC entering the building, and told reporters that he was appearing to sign some documents, but never reappeared.

Last week, the Post captured Cohen and his wife out dining with another couple at a French restaurant around the corner from his Park Avenue apartment, which Levine had said “did not violate any of the terms and conditions of his release.”

A source told the paper that its article served as a “catalyst” for the government to “take a closer look.” Speaking to CNN, Levine admitted the arrest “probably has to do with the optics of everything.”

Cohen was released from the federal prison camp where he was housed in Otisville, N.Y., over fears of a coronavirus outbreak among inmates and prison staff members in May. Under the agreement, Cohen was required to see out the rest of his sentence — set to end in November 2021 — under home confinement. He pled guilty in 2018 to tax evasion, campaign-finance violations, and lying to Congress, saying that he was acting on President Trump’s behalf when he gave hush payments to women who claimed they’d had affairs with Trump.

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