Michael Cohen, the ex-Trump lawyer, has taken the first step to sue the U.S. government claiming that his return to prison was illegal and it was done as a retaliatory action as he refused to stop writing a book against former president Donald Trump.
Cohen has begun the process of suing for $20 million in damages according to a notice of claim that was filed with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, two weeks ago. NBC reported that Cohen filed a claim alleging that top leaders in the Trump administration sent him back to prison after he was furloughed last year, due to the pandemic, as he refused to stop writing a book that was critical of Trump.
After he was sent back to prison, his lawyers sought his release. Before releasing him Judge Alvin Hellerstein said that he had never seen such a clause, although he had been a judge for 21 years. He also said that he could not take any other inference except the conclusion “that it was retaliatory.”
The current claim against the feds states that the federal government officials committed “false arrest, false imprisonment, abuse of power, wrongful confinement, and retaliation.”
Cohen’s attorney Jeffrey Levine released a statement that said that Mr. Cohen was the personal attorney to the President of the United States and if he could be thrown into jail as he wanted to write a book that would be critical of the President, a person’s imagination need not go far before it gained realization that such unacceptable and constitutionally violative conduct could be directed at anyone.
Cohen’s lawyer said that his client was planning to file a second lawsuit to show that his First Amendment Rights were violated, and he would name the following officials
- Former Attorney General William Barr
- Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal
Both the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and the Justice Department have not as yet responded when asked for comment. Michael Cohen also did not respond. Last year the BOP had said that calling the decision to remand Michael Cohen to prison a “retaliatory action” was “patently false.”
Last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit against John Bolton, former National Security Advisor. It claimed that he had published classified information. Bolton said that the DOJ had retaliated against him as he had criticized Trump. Last month the DOJ dropped the suit and stopped investigating a similar criminal probe. So, Michael Cohen is not the only ex-Trump staffer to mention retaliatory action.