Former Attorney General Bill Barr did 'not appear happy' when served summons in Michael Cohen case
Attorney General William Barr. Image: Office of Public Affairs/Flickr

Former Attorney General Bill Barr was reportedly served a summons on Thursday at his home in the pricy Washington, D.C. suburb of McLean, Virginia.

The summons requires that Barr respond to a suit brought by Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen regarding the alleged violation of his First Amendment rights in 2020.

According to Cohen's lawyer Andrew Laufer, Barr was "wearing shorts and did not appear happy."

The lawsuit is part of a case against both Barr and Trump alleging that they were personally involved in his release to house arrest during the COVID-19 crisis that was spreading through prisons. As a non-violent offender, Cohen would have been released to house arrest, but was required to sign a statement that he would not do interviews or publish a book. Such a request would violate Cohen's First Amendment rights, his lawyer argued.

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Cohen took the suit up the chain to a judge who shot down the demand, agreeing that the move was retaliation.

"I make the finding that the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory, and it's retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish the book and to discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media and elsewhere," said US District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein.

Hellerstein said that in his 21 years on the bench, he has "never seen such a clause. How can I take any other inference but that it was retaliatory?”

See the tweet from the attorney below: