Michael Cohen enjoyed a night out at a snazzy French restaurant in Manhattan, leaving some to question whether it could breach the conditions of his release from prison.
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer enjoyed a Thursday outing at a sidewalk table outside Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant in the Upper East Side.
He was with his wife, Laura, and another couple and did not leave the establishment until 11.30pm, the New York Post reports. His group was the last to leave.
While the Cohens were not wearing masks while they sat with the couple, they did put on masks before exchanging hugs with the other pair.
According to an employee from eatery Avra Madison, located on East 60th Street, Cohen has also visited that restaurant.
‘He’s nice, and used to come here all the time,’ the source said of the former lawyer’s visit from earlier in the week.
The 53-year-old was to sentenced to three years for a series of crimes, including covering up hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Cohen was released from prison on May 20 due to the coronavirus, even after a judge had refused to reduce his sentence just two months earlier.
‘Ten months into his prison term, it’s time that Cohen accept the consequences of his criminal convictions for serious crimes that had far reaching institutional harms,’ Manhattan federal Judge William Pauley asserted.
His sentence expires on November 22, 2021, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.
Jeffrey K Levine, Cohen’s lawyer, defended his client’s outing and said Cohen ‘is currently on furlough.’
Levine added that his client ‘did not violate any of the terms and conditions of his release… and any assertion or suggestion to the contrary would be wholly inaccurate and untrue.’
On the BOP form for furlough applications, inmates must provide a furlough address and declare by signature that ‘I am authorized to be only in the area of the destination shown above and at ordinary stopovers or points on a direct route to or from that destination.’
There is an additional provision that states: ‘I will not leave the area of my furlough without permission, with exception of traveling to the furlough destination, and returning to the institution.’
Cameron Lindsay, an ex-BOP official and former warden, said Cohen’s little outside trip ‘doesn’t look right’ and could be considered a violation of the conditions.
‘I find it unusual that he’s out to dinner,’ said Lindsay.
‘I don’t know that I ever remember furloughs being approved for social reasons.’
Following his release, Cohen made his first remarks in a tweet on May 21. ‘I am so glad to be home and back with my family’ he tweeted just after noon.
The disgraced attorney disclosed that he is planning to speak out.
‘There is so much I want to say and intend to say,’ he wrote. However, he adds, ‘Now is not the right time. Soon,’ and offers thanks to his supporters.
Cohen has confided in people who visited him including, actor Tom Arnold, that he is writing a book about Trump.