Cohen said he was sent back to prison in retaliation for writing a book detailing the alleged racist comments made by the president.
The lawsuit claims that Cohen’s re-arrest violates his right to free speech.
The director of the Bureau of Prisons is appointed along with U.S. Attorney General William Barr in the lawsuit filed by Cohen’s lawyers and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on Monday. Lawyers demanded Cohen’s immediate release from prison.
The 53-year-old has a history of breathing problems and is vulnerable to Covid-19, they said.
Cohen was brought back into custody on July 9, after authorities said he refused the terms of his arrest at home. Days before, on July 2, Cohen tweeted that he was “nearing completion” of an information book.
In court documents filed Monday evening, Cohen wrote that his book – tentatively titled Disloyal: The True Story of Michael Cohen, former personal prosecutor of President Donald J Trump – will describe first-hand experiences with Trump and his family, the Washington Post reported.
The book “will provide graphic and unflattering details on the president’s behavior behind closed doors,” the documents said.
These details include descriptions of “the president’s highly anti-Semitic remarks and virulently racist remarks against black leaders such as President Barack Obama and Nelson Mandela, none of whom he considered true leaders or worthy of respect by virtue of their race.”
Cohen’s lawyers claimed that his constitutional rights were violated when probation officers asked him to sign a gag order that would prohibit him from “talking to or through any media of any kind”, including social media. or publish a book as a condition for his release to prison.
When Cohen asked for clarification on this “unusual deal”, he was handcuffed and returned to Otisville, New York federal prison, his lawyers said.
“The gag order that the government tried to impose on Cohen was an unconstitutional preliminary check, and his continued incarceration is part of a dangerous retaliation model against Trump’s critics.”
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.
The White House has not yet commented on the allegations.
Cohen served one year of his three-year sentence.
The former repairer admitted that he lied to Congress about a Trump Tower project in Moscow and campaigned for financial violations for his role in paying sums of money to women who reported business with Trump. He also admitted other bank fees and fraud unrelated to the president.