William Steele: Preventing Cohen from writing his book | TheUnion.com

William Steele: Preventing Cohen from writing his book

You probably read that Michael Cohen was recently released from prison back to home confinement. He was furloughed in May because of concerns over enhanced exposure to the coronavirus in the prison environment.

But on July 9, when he questioned the terms of his confinement to home, his probation officer shackled him and returned him to prison. The terms he questioned were that he was barred from contacting his publisher or the media or releasing any information concerning a book he has been writing which is critical of President Trump.

A judge ruled that this action by the Department of Justice was entirely retaliatory and intended to prevent him from releasing his book. In normal times (I realize how far we are from that) this news would be blared to the public in bold headlines, alarms would be sounded, but we’ve barely noticed it — accepted it as just another offense in a long series of offenses. Just think of it — a citizen has been thrown into prison to prevent him from writing and publishing a book critical of the president. It’s the grossest violation of our fundamental rights and we shrug it off as normal.

The Department of Justice should be called to account for this crime, but the real opportunity for a remedy won’t come until Nov. 3.

William Steele

Nevada City

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