President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen was taken back into custody after refusing the terms of his early release from prison for lying to Congress, the Bureau of Prisons confirmed to BuzzFeed News.
Cohen, who meeting with probation officials Thursday, objected to terms of his release that would have prevented him from talking to the press, publishing a book, or speaking on social media, his former attorney Lanny Davis said.
"That was a point that disturbed him because he pointed out that he was able to speak to the media" when he was incarcerated, Davis said.
When US Marshals began to take Cohen into custody, Davis said, Cohen said he would "sign exactly what you want me to sign," but that an agent with the US Marshals told him, "It's out of our hands."
Cohen was released from prison on May 21 and limited to home confinement as part of the Department of Justice's effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus in federal prisons.
A longtime attorney for Trump and often referred to as his fixer, Cohen turned on the president and cooperated with federal investigators. As part of his cooperation, Cohen pleaded guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance fraud, and lying to the Senate intelligence committee about plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
Cohen's charges regarding campaign finance fraud involved his role in paying Playboy model Karen McDougal and porn star Stormy Daniels money in 2016 to keep quiet about their alleged affairs with Trump. Prosecutors alleged the money was paid to influence the election. The White House has denied the president had affairs with the women.
Cohen was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison.
On Thursday, officials with the Bureau of Prisons said Cohen "refused the conditions of his home confinement and as a result, has been returned to a BOP facility."
Cohen's re-arrest comes a week after the New York Post photographed him dining at a Manhattan restaurant.
But Davis said Cohen was never told that he was not allowed to eat out at a restaurant near his home, and that he believed he was able to do so under the terms of his release.
When he brought back into court on Thursday, CNBC reported that Cohen refused to accept a judge's order that would have prevented him from speaking to reporters, accept any book deals, or post on social media.
Davis said Cohen and his attorney, Jeffrey Levine, pointed out that his book had already been completed, at which point probation officials left the meeting room to discuss the terms of release.
An hour-and-a-half later, Davis said, Marshals returned with shackles.
BOP officials said that despite being placed in home confinement, Cohen is still a federal inmate and "remains subject to compliance with BOP policy, which includes being subject to electronic monitoring and obtaining pre-approval for media interviews."
Cohen's attorney, Jeffrey Levine, did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.