Michael Cohen (L), Bill Barr (R).
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images (L), Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images (R)
- Michael Cohen is suing Donald Trump, Bill Barr, and others over being sent back to prison in 2020.
- Cohen gloated on Twitter after his lawyers served Barr with papers who was on vacation in Virginia.
- Cohen’s lawyer said that Barr was “wearing shorts and did not appear happy” when served.
Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, said that his lawyers served former Attorney General Bill Barr with legal papers on Thursday.
Cohen’s lawsuit alleges that the former president retaliated against him for promoting an upcoming tell-all book by sending him back to prison last year.
The lawsuit names Trump and other members of his administration, including Bill Barr and Michael Carvajal, the current director of the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Cohen took to Twitter to celebrate and revealed that Barr had been served with the papers while vacationing in Virginia.
“Happy New Year asshole!” Cohen wrote.
—Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) December 30, 2021
One of Cohen’s lawyers, Andrew C Laufer, confirmed that he had personally delivered Bill Barr the papers at his home in McLean, Virginia, on Thursday.
“At the time of service, Mr. Barr was wearing shorts and did not appear happy,” Laufer said on Twitter.
—Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@lauferlaw) December 30, 2021
Last year, Cohen served part of a three-year prison sentence for financial crimes at his home after authorities determined that he faced a high risk if infected by COVID-19.
According to the lawsuit, he later claimed federal authorities said he would have to agree not to speak to the media or social media if he were to remain at his home.
When Cohen asked for clarification “and possible revision” at the meeting where the new terms of his home confinement were presented, he waited for 90 minutes while authorities “conferred,” his complaint states.
Authorities concluded by sending him back to prison, where Cohen says he was held in solitary confinement for 16 days.
Cohen alleges that his right to free speech was violated, and he seeks damages for “extreme physical and emotional harm.”
In the lawsuit, lawyers for Cohen say that Barr is being sued in an individual capacity because of his role in overseeing Cohen’s care, custody, and control.
“At the behest of then-President Trump, and upon his own volition, defendant Barr directed his subordinates to retaliate against plaintiff for the lawful exercise of his First Amendment rights by remanding him back to prison,” the lawsuit states.
Cohen’s lawyers say the lawsuit challenges a dangerous precedent violating First Amendment rights.
“The violations of law committed by the prior administration demonstrates what can occur to any of us if we are targeted for exercising our rights in a manner which offends a corrupt president,” Andrew C Laufer wrote on Twitter.
—Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@lauferlaw) December 21, 2021