Trump sues ex-lawyer Michael Cohen after grand jury testimony
April 12 (Reuters) – Donald Trump sued his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen on Wednesday looking for not less than $500 million in damages, as the previous U.S. president steps up assaults on his onetime loyal “fixer” after Cohen testified earlier than the Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump.
In a grievance filed in federal court docket in Miami, Trump accused Cohen of failing to maintain confidential attorney-client communications personal and profiting by “spreading falsehoods” about him in books and podcasts.
Lanny Davis, a lawyer for Cohen, referred to as Trump’s lawsuit “frivolous.” Trump typically through the years has filed fits in opposition to varied adversaries.
“Mr. Trump is as soon as once more utilizing and abusing the judicial system as a type of harassment and intimidation in opposition to Michael Cohen,” Davis stated.
The lawsuit comes as Cohen, who as soon as stated he would “do something” to guard Trump, seems poised to grow to be a star witness in opposition to him at a doable felony trial in New York on the fees unsealed final week. Trump, who’s working for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying enterprise information. It marked the primary time a former U.S. president was charged with a criminal offense.
Prosecutors led by Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, have stated Trump lined up his reimbursement of Cohen for $130,000 in hush cash paid earlier than the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels, who has stated she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. Trump denies that any such relationship occurred.
Trump’s lawsuit stated Cohen wrongfully referred to as Trump “racist” within the disbarred lawyer’s 2020 ebook, entitled “Disloyal,” and fabricated conversations with Trump from when he served as his lawyer.
“The timing of Disloyal’s launch, simply previous to the November 3, 2020 Presidential Election, means that (Cohen) supposed to improperly disclose (Trump’s) confidences when it could be most profitable to take action – and whereas Disloyal would make sure to have essentially the most damaging reputational impact,” the lawsuit stated.
Trump misplaced the election to Democrat Joe Biden.
‘I AM ASHAMED’
Cohen was a high govt at Trump’s actual property firm after which labored as his private lawyer when Trump grew to become president in 2017. As soon as recognized for intense loyalty to Trump, Cohen has grow to be a harsh critic and has assisted legislation enforcement companies and lawmakers investigating his former boss.
“I’m ashamed as a result of I do know what Mr. Trump is,” Cohen instructed a U.S. congressional committee in 2019. “He’s a racist. He’s a con man. He’s a cheat.”
Cohen in 2018 pleaded responsible to violating federal election legislation by way of the $130,000 fee to Daniels. He was sentenced to a few years in jail for that and different crimes, together with dishonest on his private taxes and mendacity beneath oath to Congress about when the Trump Group stopped engaged on a proposed constructing venture in Russia.
Referring to Daniels by her actual title Stephanie Clifford, Trump’s attorneys stated Trump supposed the fee to her “to guard his household from the malicious and false claims made by Clifford.”
The felony case is considered one of a number of authorized woes Trump faces together with investigations into makes an attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss and into his removing of presidency paperwork from the White Home after leaving workplace.
New York State Legal professional Common Letitia James final 12 months filed a civil lawsuit in opposition to Trump and his three grownup kids for fraud, accusing them of misstating the values of actual property properties to acquire favorable loans and tax advantages. Trump additionally sued James after she filed that case.
Trump final week stated Cohen had failed to look for a deposition by Trump’s authorized staff as a part of that lawsuit, which is scheduled to go to trial on Oct. 2. Justice Arthur Engoron set a listening to for April 21 to contemplate whether or not to order Cohen to testify.
Trump filed a swimsuit in opposition to James looking for to halt her civil case, however a decide dismissed it, writing that there was “no proof” that the investigation was undertaken in dangerous religion.
In one other case, a decide in January ordered Trump and his attorneys to pay practically $1 million for submitting a “utterly frivolous” swimsuit accusing Hillary Clinton and different Democrats of making an attempt to rig the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Reporting by Jasper Ward in Washington and Luc Cohen in New York; Extra reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; Enhancing by Will Dunham, Katharine Jackson, Jonathan Oatis and Noeleen Walder
Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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