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Michael Cohen released from United States prison

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, was released from federal prison Thursday to serve the remainder of his sentence at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Wearing a surgical mask and a baseball cap, Cohen arrived at his Manhattan apartment building at around 10:40 a.m. after his release from FCI Otisville in New York.

He removed boxes of legal documents from the trunk of a car. A uniformed doorman at the luxury residence, not far from Trump Tower, carried them into the lobby on a luggage cart.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress, didn’t stop to speak with reporters gathered on the sidewalk.

“I am so glad to be home and back with my family,” Cohen wrote on Twitter a little more than an hour after arriving home. “There is so much I want to say and intend to say. But now is not the right time. Soon. Thank you to all my friends and supporters.”

Asked about Cohen’s release, Trump said he didn’t know about it and declined further comment.

Cohen’s convictions were related to crimes including dodging taxes on $4 million in income from his taxi business, lying during congressional testimony about the timing of discussions around an abandoned plan to build a Trump Tower in Russia, and orchestrating payments to two women to keep them from talking publicly about alleged affairs with Trump. Prosecutors said the payments amounted to illegal campaign contributions. Trump, who denied the affairs, said any payments were a personal matter.

Cohen, 53, was once one of Trump’s closest advisors but became a loud critic after pleading guilty.

He was released on furlough as part of an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in federal prisons.

He began serving his sentence last May and had been scheduled to remain in prison until November 2021.

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