Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen told Business Insider that he is helping to free National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Reality Winner from jail, according to an October 6 article.
In 2018, 28-year-old Winner was sentenced to 18 months in jail after leaking information to The Intercept about Russia’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. An Air Force veteran and former Interpreter Analyst at the NSA, Winner is currently incarcerated in a federal prison in Texas. In July, Winner contracted the coronavirus, sparking renewed outrage over her imprisonment and living conditions inside the facility. Winner’s mother, Billie J. Winner-Davis, has consistently been active on social media about her daughter’s imprisonment.
On October 5, Winner-Davis tweeted about Cohen’s involvement in Winner’s case. “I am shaking right now. @MichaelCohen212 just called me. He wants to help bring #RealityWinner home and is all in. He wants to do whatever he can to help….seriously. This guy is amazing. #FreeRealityWinner,” Winner-Davis’ Tweet read. Cohen responded shortly after and echoed the hashtag: “#FreeRealityWinner.”
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 for “tax fraud, lying to banks and violating campaign finance laws,” according to a CNBC article. He told Business Insider that there is some irony in his move to represent Winner, as one of the crimes he pleaded guilty to was lying about Trump’s dealings with Russia. “I told [Billie] I would like to pay it forward and see if I can help another innocent person who’s been railroaded by the system,” Cohen told Business Insider. “It’s only a small part of my need to make amends.”
Winner-Davis is excited for Cohen to become involved in her daughter’s case. “We had this amazing conversation,” Winner-Davis told Business Insider on Monday. “He talked with me about different ways that he could maybe help my daughter — you know, to get a good attorney involved with her team to try to get compassionate release for her.”
Cohen stated that he will meet with another attorney this week and go over Winner’s case, aiming ultimately “to reunite a mother with her daughter and to make her family whole again.” His personal experience has informed this decision: “I know what it’s like for a family to be torn apart and the sadness it brings. If I can help to alleviate that, I’d feel slightly better about myself.”