It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.
I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.
This week I am naming Michael Cohen as my Who Won the Week designee. For those of you who don’t know who Michael Cohen is, he was, for many years, Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and “fixer.” Among other crimes he committed on behalf of Trump, Cohen arranged for payments during the 2016 election to silence women (including a porn star and a Playboy bunny) who claimed to have had affairs with Trump. Cohen was accused of breaking campaign finance laws, and was found guilty of tax evasion and lying to Congress.
In December 2018, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for his crimes, and he finally admitted that the reason he committed those crimes was because of his “duty to cover up [Trump’s] dirty deeds.”
But this past May, Cohen was released to home confinement in his New York City apartment as authorities tried to slow the spread of coronavirus in federal prisons. However, on July 9th, Cohen was suddenly picked up and sent back to prison. According to probation authorities, he was sent back because he refused to sign a form banning him from communicating with the media or the public about a “tell-all” book about his time serving Donald Trump that he was planning on publishing prior to the November 2020 election. For the record, there is no law that prohibits federal or state prisoners from writing books or talking with the media while incarcerated.
This past Friday, Michael Cohen walked out of a federal prison a day after a U.S. District Court judge ruled that Cohen’s First Amendment rights were violated when he was ordered back to prison. The judge found taking Cohen back to the federal prison earlier this month was clearly meant to punish him for his plan to publish his book. The judge said that returning Cohen from home confinement to jail was “retaliatory,” and that it punished Cohen “because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and with others.”
I don’t find Michael Cohen to be a sympathetic character. In fact, I think he’s essentially a sleazeball and a piece of shit. That said, this decision is a victory not only for Michael Cohen, but for the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which, among other things, prohibits the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”
Now it’s your turn, folks. Who (or what) do you think won the week?