As President Trump rose to power nearly 4 years ago, it seemed as though a great deal of the Washington swamp creatures were immediately out to get him.
This wasn’t terribly surprising. Trump did saunter onto The Beltway under the auspices of draining the swamp, effectively threatening the Washington fat cats that he’d be taking their treats away from them.
So they threw the book at him, starting with a sordid story about aging adult film star Stormy Daniels’ alleged affair with Trump some dozen years earlier. At the center of that mess was Michael Cohen, a former Trump lawyer who claimed that he was in charge of sending “hush money” payments to Daniels. Cohen would later be arrested and charged with lying to Congress – a situation that he is still feeling the effects of today.
Exclusive photos show President Trump’s former personal lawyer seated at a sidewalk table outside Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant around the corner from his Park Avenue apartment, on Thursday night.
Cohen, his wife, Laura, and another couple spent about an hour chatting before they became the last patrons to leave around 11:30 p.m.
At the time, staffers were preparing to close the eatery, where the “signature” dish of Cajun chicken costs $36 and a “New York Prime” steak is $55.
Here is where it gets tricky:
At the time of Cohen’s release, his lawyer, Jeffrey K. Levine, told The New York Times, “He’s glad to be home in a safer and healthier environment.”
“It’s still his prison until his sentence is over,” Levine added.
But on Friday, Levine defended Cohen’s evening out, saying that Cohen “is currently on furlough” and that he “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.”
The BOP form for furlough applications requires that an inmate provide a furlough address and acknowledge 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.”
Conditions listed on the form also include a provision that says, “I will not leave the area of my furlough without permission, with exception of traveling to the furlough destination, and returning to the institution.”
Cohen’s sudden about-face on the subject of Donald Trump has led many to refer to him as a “rat” or a “snitch”, and his previous untruths to Congress had made him a wholly unreliable witness when he returned to Capitol Hill some months later in an attempt to tattle his way out of a lengthy prison sentence.
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