AP source: Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen being released from prison

FILE - In this May 6, 2019, file photo, Michael Cohen, former attorney to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building before beginning his prison term in New York. President Trumps former lawyer and longtime fixer Cohen will be released from federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement amid the coronavirus pandemic, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File)
FILE - In this May 6, 2019, file photo, Michael Cohen, former attorney to President Donald Trump, leaves his apartment building before beginning his prison term in New York. President Trumps former lawyer and longtime fixer Cohen will be released from federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement amid the coronavirus pandemic, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and longtime fixer Michael Cohen will be released from federal prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in home confinement amid the coronavirus pandemic, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.

Cohen is currently locked up at FCI Otisville in New York after pleading guilty to numerous charges, including campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress. He will remain under quarantine for 14 days before he is released. Federal statistics show 14 inmates and seven staff members at the prison have tested positive for coronavirus.

After he is released, Cohen will serve the remainder of his sentence at home, according to the person, who could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Cohen’s release comes as prison advocates and congressional leaders have been pressing the Justice Department for weeks to release at-risk inmates ahead of a potential outbreak, arguing that the public health guidance to stay 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from other people is nearly impossible behind bars.

Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons earlier this month to increase the use of home confinement and expedite the release of eligible high-risk inmates, beginning at three prisons identified as coronavirus hot spots. Otisville is not one of those facilities.

As of Thursday, 473 federal inmates and 279 Bureau of Prisons staff members had tested positive for coronavirus at facilities across the U.S. Eighteen inmates have died since late March.

Many federal inmates have been seeking home confinement as the number of coronavirus cases grows in the federal prison system, but advocates have accused the Bureau of Prisons of moving too slowly to release inmates. The Bureau of Prisons said it had moved more than 1,000 inmates to home confinement since March 26, when Barr first issued a directive to increase its use in late March. The agency said it is a “tremendous logistical lift that was accomplished through the marshaling of all of BOP’s resources.”

A federal judge had denied Cohen’s attempt for an early release to home confinement after serving 10 months in prison and said in a ruling earlier this month that it “appears to be just another effort to inject himself into the news cycle.” But the Bureau of Prisons can take action to move him to home confinement without a judicial order.