Inmate Michael Cohen calling for Trump admin to let prisoners out of jail over coronavirus fears

Screengrab ABC

Federal inmate Michael Cohen has endorsed what would prove to be a novel idea in response to the coronavirus pandemic, if enacted.

Serving three years after pleading guilty to tax, bank, and campaign finance crimes, the former attorney for President Donald Trump shared a petition calling for Trump to have the Federal Bureau of Prisons release prisoners and place them under home detention during the virus outbreak.

Who knew that prisoners have internet access, much less the ability to tweet?

The petition reads, in part:

The Federal Prison Camps are without adequate medical staff and are without proper medical equipment, sterilization techniques, gloves, sanitizers, masks, and other necessary items. To complicate further: Hospitals are forecasted to be full, and transporting sick prisoners will be impractical {plus additionally risky}. Making the Camps into triage and logistical staging grounds helps to keep the BOP’s Union Members at minimum risk of concentrated exposure from the higher security facilities. It appears the Unions will exercise their rights to withdraw their personnel {to every extent possible} to protect them from exposure, and the Union’s members will not object.


You have to give Cohen credit here, the release of federal non-violent offenders would prove to be a great idea that would benefit him tremendously.

The petition, submitted by “Compassionate Camper,” noted the difference between federal prison camps and prison, and warned of dire consequences if the “campers” are not released.

“Camps are unique in security, and a Camp’s concept is counterintuitive to the general public: Campers are not held at the prison camps; Campers agree to stay at the prison, and {like me} many Campers Self-Surrendered,” the appeal read.

“Without your intervention, scores of Non-Violent Offenders are at risk of death, and these people were not given a death sentence,” it further states.

Up four days, as of Sunday, the petition has garnered just 1,442 signatures, so Cohen may want to hold off on packing his bags just yet.

The effort is clearly out to take advantage of the president’s recent efforts toward criminal justice reform in America, as seen with the First Step Act, a law allowing thousands of non-violent offenders to gain early release from federal prison.

It seems Cohen has “the squad” of four hard-left freshman Democrats in his corner.

One of the members, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., is calling for consideration for prison inmates in light of the virus outbreak.

“This pandemic, COVID-19, has certainly highlighted and exacerbated every socio, ratio and political fault line in our country and I’m just advocating to make sure that when we’re talking about our most vulnerable – our low-income residents and citizens, those experiencing homelessness, our seniors – that we are also including the incarcerated men and women,” she said in an appearance on MSNBC.

Calling prisoners “one of the most vulnerable populations,” she cited overcrowding to say prisons “are an ecosystem in a petri dish for the spreading of this pandemic.”

“Which is why I partnered with my colleagues, Reps. [Nydia] Velasquez, [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez and [Rashida] Talib, to lobby the bureau of prisons to use the full power and to communicate guidance for how we will contain and mitigate this epidemic behind the wall,” Pressley said.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the Cohen story from Twitter:


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