Lawyers for Michael Cohen and federal prosecutors have reached an agreement over the conditions of his home confinement that no longer include any restrictions on his communications with the media, according to a Thursday court filing.
In a letter to Judge Alvin Hellerstein, prosecutors wrote that Cohen has agreed to the conditions contained in a re-entry form used by the Bureau of Prisons that will replace the previous agreement. A federal judge found the initial agreement too restrictive on Cohen’s First Amendment rights to communicate publicly and with the media.
“The parties agree that a specific provision regarding Petitioner’s contact with the media is not necessary,” according to the letter, which added, “there is therefore no need for this Court to resolve any further dispute about restrictions on Petitioner’s contact with the media.”
Earlier this month Cohen was taken back into custody after he objected to several terms of release, specifically prohibitions on engaging with the media. Cohen sued alleging that he was retaliated against in order to stop a tell-all book he is writing about President Donald Trump. Hellerstein agreed and ordered both sides to come up with parameters to govern Cohen’s communications with the press.
Cohen is planning to release the book by September, two months before the presidential election.
During a phone hearing, the judge said there should be some limits. For example, he said, Cohen should be allowed to publish a book and tweet but he shouldn’t be allowed to hold a press conference from his apartment, just as he wouldn’t be able to hold one from a prison cell.
Under the new conditions, the government dropped any restrictions on Cohen’s communications with the media. He will be required to undergo monthly drug testing, abstain from consuming alcohol and remain at home, except if given permission or for employment.
Cohen also agreed to seek approval from the Bureau of Prisons before obtaining any employment, a sticking point in the initial agreement. Prosecutors said the requirement is routine and “this approval will not be unreasonably withheld.”
The agreement will require the Hellerstein’s approval. Prosecutors said they have no intention of appealing the judge’s previous ruling.
Cohen was released into home confinement on Friday, where he will serve the remainder of his three-year sentence. Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to tax fraud, lying to Congress and violating campaign finance laws for facilitating hush money payments to two women who alleged affairs with the President. (Trump has denied the affairs.)