July 23 (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was ordered released from prison and will return to home confinement on Friday after a federal judge found he was a target of retaliation for planning to publish a book about the president.
Cohen was sent home from prison in May because of the coronavirus pandemic.
He was shackled again on July 9 after he questioned an agreement that barred him from publishing his book, engaging with news organizations and posting on social media. Judge Alvin Hellerstein said he had never in his 21 years on the bench seen a provision barring a prisoner from speaking to the media. “How can I take any other inference but that it was retaliatory?”
Cohen has been in solitary confinement in a federal prison in Otisville, New York, about 70 miles (110 km) northwest of New York City.
The federal government on Tuesday carried out its first execution in almost two decades, killing by lethal injection a man convicted of murdering an Arkansas family in a 1990s plot to build a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest. The execution of Daniel Lewis Lee came over the objection of the victims’ relatives and following days of legal wrangling and delays.
Lee, 47, of Yukon, Oklahoma, professed his innocence just before he was executed at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.
“I didn’t do it,” Lee said. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but I’m not a murderer.”
Donald Trump suggests he trusts the opinion of an ex-game show host over his country’s own public health institute, the Centers for Disease Control. The president shared a tweet from Chuck Woolery that said “Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors.” With more than 135,000 people dead in the United States from coronavirus, the former host of Love Connection thinks this is all about the election. Curious how Woolery (and Trump) would explain the almost 13 million cases worldwide.
For a few moments after the camera began recording, the white man smirked silently in his seat at an upscale California restaurant. Then, he gave the family at the next table the middle finger and unleashed an anti-Asian tirade.
“Trump’s going to f— you,” he said, adding that the family “need to leave” and calling one of them an “Asian piece of s—.”
After the video went viral on Tuesday, multiple journalists identified the man as Michael Lofthouse, CEO of Solid8, a cloud computing firm based in San Francisco. By the day’s end, Lofthouse had deleted all his social media accounts and issued an apology to a local TV station.
“My behavior in the video is appalling,” he told San Francisco’s KGO-TV in a statement. “This was clearly a moment where I lost control and made incredibly hurtful and divisive comments.”
But members of the family he targeted say his slurs speak louder than his mea culpa.