Why was Michael Cohen sent back to prison?

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Michael Cohen, the former lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives back at home after being released from prison during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., May 21, 2020. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters.

Michael Cohen is suing to be let out of prison, saying the government violated his First Amendment rights by sending him back to prison when he refused to agree to terms that would have blocked him from writing a tell-all book about President Trump while on furlough. Charles Harder apparently sent Cohen a cease-and-desist letter about the book, claiming Cohen signed a nondisclosure agreement (but he didn’t attach it) — but does it seem strange that Cohen had signed one of those agreements? And isn’t writing a tell-all book about his former client...more of a legal problem for Cohen? There are reasons why President Trump might not want to sue Cohen for the book though, and that’s a messy discovery in which he’d have to show that he was harmed by Cohen’s book.

Ken and Josh answer some questions from listeners about what happens now that the Supreme Court has told lower courts they have more work to do on those lawsuits seeking the financial records of President Trump and the Trump Organization. Plus: is there a good argument that the president abused the pardon and commutation power in commuting the sentence of Roger Stone? And during a coronavirus briefing, President Trump said he wishes Ghislaine Maxwell “well.” What’s the right way for presidents to talk about federally charged defendants? There’s some speculation this was President Trump signaling a willingness to pardon Ghislaine Maxwell but Ken White doubts the president would be this subtle.

Finally: can Michael Avenatti afford a good lawyer?

Credits

Hosts:
Josh Barro, Ken White

Producer:
Sara Fay