Michael Cohen’s Appeal Against Trump Dismissed

On Tuesday, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Michael Cohen, a former attorney for President Donald Trump, in his attempt to revive a retaliation claim against the 45th president.

Cohen, who once served as Trump’s personal attorney, claimed that he was jailed in retaliation for writing a critical tell-all book about the former president. His book, “Disloyal: A Memoir,” which described his version of his experiences with President Trump, reached number one on the Amazon best-seller list. The federal appeals court in Manhattan affirmed a district court’s previous decision not to allow Cohen to revive the lawsuit.

Cohen’s legal journey has been marred by controversy. In 2018, he pleaded guilty to charges including tax evasion, lying to Congress, and violating campaign finance laws. After he began his prison sentence, he successfully requested to be released to home confinement in May 2020, based in large part on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. A later dispute with authorities regarding his compliance with the agreement allowing for home confinement led to his brief return to federal prison.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took up Cohen’s case, claiming his re-imprisonment was in retaliation for the publication of his book. U.S. District Judge Lewis J. Liman dismissed the claim, finding Cohen could not make a legal claim against President Trump even if he could prove the facts in court as he had alleged them in his lawsuit.

Trump’s legal team, led by attorney Aina Habba, expressed satisfaction with the ruling. “We are very pleased with today’s ruling. Mr. Cohen’s lawsuit was doomed from its inception. We will continue to fight against any frivolous suit aimed at our client,” Habba stated.

Cohen has already announced that he plans to take his challenge to the Supreme Court. “The outcome is wrong if democracy is to prevail,” Cohen told reporters. His attorney, Jon-Michael Doherty of Gilbert LLP, emphasized the need to address this “novel issue” at the highest court.

The Bureau of Prisons, meanwhile, has maintained that Cohen’s return to prison was not retaliatory but due to his non-compliance with the terms of his home confinement. One major issue involved a disagreement over electronic monitoring and media engagement, which the Bureau deemed essential to the agreement that allowed Cohen to avoid serving his sentence in prison.