From rat to prison celebrity. That is the trajectory for President Donald Trump's disgraced former fixer, attorney Michael Cohen. In the few short weeks he has been behind bars, Cohen has become a celebrity among other inmates of the federal prison where he is serving time for tax evasion, lying to Congress, and campaign finance crimes.
President Trump's longtime personal lawyer entered the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, N.Y. on May 6 to start a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to financial crime and lying to Congress. He also arranged a secret payoff to pornstar Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump.
Cohen, 52, cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller in trying to get less time in prison, making many claims about Trump. His last words as a free man, spoken to a throng of reporters standing outside the facility; were: "There still remains much to be told . . . And I look forward to the day that I can share the truth," CNN reported.
Since then, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which runs the federal prison system, has been tight-lipped about Cohen's placement, but now a source has revealed the 52-year-old is being celebrated as a celebrity within the walls of the prison.
"People have been asking him for legal advice. He is one of the most popular guys in the prison. Many people have been approaching him for help," an unnamed person close to Trump's former fixer told The Daily Beast.
"He's told friends that people have been super nice to him and he's finding the whole experience not that bad. He's been treated like a celebrity in there. People are coming up to him and asking about Trump and Stormy Daniels."
Aside from doling out legal advice and answering Trump-related questions, Cohen is also constantly being asked to pose for photos by the inmates who have smuggled cellphones into the facility. According to "prison coach" Larry Levine, who has several clients doing time at Otisville, the inmates are after the photos so they can show off.
"Everyone is trying to one-up each other," he said, adding it was risky business for the inmates. "If you get caught with a cellphone, they would take your good time away. Now they stack more time on you. It's extremely risky," he said.
Responding to allegations of cellphones being used within the federal prison, a spokesperson told The Daily Beast it would be conducting investigations into the matter.
Meanwhile the prison is known in some quarters as akin to a "summer camp" and one source told The Daily Beast that Cohen is at the top of the pecking order, as the biggest "celebrity" in the joint.
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