After surgery, Michael Cohen’s prison date postponed to May

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen was granted a few more weeks of freedom Wednesday after his lawyer said he is still recovering from shoulder surgery and needs to prepare for congressional testimony.

U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III approved the delay from March 6 to May 6 without comment after Cohen’s lawyer said physical therapy and anticipated testimony before three congressional committees made it hard for him to quickly get his affairs in order.

They noted prosecutors did not object to a “one-time” 60-day delay. A spokesman for the office said Wednesday that prosecutors declined to comment.

Cohen, Trump’s former private lawyer and fixer, was expected to testify before three congressional committees later this month.

Cohen, 52, was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to lying to the Senate intelligence committee and campaign finance violations. He acknowledged lying about his role in a Trump business proposal in Moscow and paying two women who alleged affairs with Trump.

In the request for a delay dated Wednesday, Cohen attorney Michael D. Monico cited a “more fulsome letter” sent to Pauley eight days ago by Cohen that was sealed.

Monico said Cohen needs to be monitored by his physician for recovery.

His congressional testimony, Monico added, “will require Mr. Cohen to spend substantial time in preparation that will limit the time he has to get his affairs in order and spend time with his family, especially given such a short period between the anticipated hearings and the present reporting date.”

After the delay request was granted, Monico and fellow Cohen lawyers Barry Spevack and Lanny Davis issued a statement saying the extra time will allow Cohen to “prepare for the expected testimony next week before congressional committees, which he welcomes.”