Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s onetime lawyer and fixer, was taken back into federal custody on Thursday after being furloughed from prison in May, federal officials said.
“Today, Michael Cohen refused the conditions of his home confinement and as a result, has been returned” to a federal Bureau of Prisons facility, the bureau said in a statement.
The bureau’s statement did not elaborate on what specifically Mr. Cohen had done, but one person briefed on his legal status said he had refused to sign papers agreeing to certain conditions related to media appearances and writing books. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release information about the case.
Mr. Cohen, 53, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to campaign finance violations and other crimes, was released from federal prison on May 20 on furlough and allowed to return to his home. He had asked to be released over health concerns related to the coronavirus.
He had been serving a three-year sentence at a minimum-security camp next to a medium-security federal prison and detention center in Otisville, N.Y., about 75 miles northwest of New York City.
Before he was freed on furlough, Mr. Cohen was projected to be released from prison in November 2021, according to the prison bureau. He had sought an earlier release because of what he said were medical conditions that might be worsened by the virus’s spread in prison.
The federal crimes that Mr. Cohen pleaded guilty to were connected to a scheme to pay hush money to two women who claimed they had affairs with Mr. Trump before he was president. Mr. Trump has denied the allegations.
Roger B. Adler, a lawyer for Mr. Cohen, said on Thursday that he was taken “taken aback” when he heard that Mr. Cohen had been taken into custody.
“It’s my hope that it’s a misunderstanding of some kind that can be promptly resolved,” Mr. Adler said.
Mr. Cohen was photographed on July 2 having dinner at a sidewalk table outside Le Bilboquet, a French restaurant near his Park Avenue apartment, according to the New York Post, which published the photograph.
Regarding the photograph of Mr. Cohen dining out, Mr. Adler said his client believed he was allowed to do so under the terms of his release. Mr. Adler said he was “unaware of any conduct” by Mr. Cohen “which would have warranted interfering with his medical furlough.”