Donald Trump sues former lawyer Michael Cohen for US$500 mil

13 Apr 2023 04:39pm
 Donald Trump. - AFP
Donald Trump. - AFP
MIAMI, US - Former President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, seeking at least US$500 million for alleged breach of contract and spreading false information.

The 32-page complaint, filed Wednesday in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, takes aim at Cohen, who has said he is prepared to testify against Trump in the former president's criminal case in New York reported UPI.

Trump's lawsuit is seeking damages expected to substantially exceed US$500 million over Cohen's book, media appearances, and podcast. Trump claims Cohen revealed confidential information, which violated their attorney-client relationship, and that much of the information was false.

The defendant breached the contractual terms of the confidentiality agreement he signed as a condition of employment with the plaintiff by both revealing the plaintiff's confidences and spreading falsehoods about the plaintiff with malicious intent and to wholly self-serving ends, the complaint states.

Defendant chose to capitalise on his confidential relationship with the plaintiff to pursue financial gain and repair a reputation shattered by his repeated misrepresentations and deceptive acts, fueled by his animus toward the plaintiff and his family members, the lawsuit states. His actions constitute grave violations of his contractual and fiduciary duties to the plaintiff, and the defendant must be held accountable.

Last week, Trump became the first former president to face criminal charges. He pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts related to falsifying records in multiple hush-money schemes. Falsifying business records is typically a misdemeanour offence but can be enhanced to a felony charge if it is done with the intent of covering up another crime.

Cohen is expected to be a key witness in the case, which contends Cohen received reimbursements for Trump's alleged US$130,000 hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has denied a 2006 affair with Daniels.

Trump's lawsuit accuses Cohen of using his podcast to host Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to discuss the details of her allegations against the plaintiff and revealing purported client confidences about the defendant's role in that matter, but failing to make plain that plaintiff relied on defendant's legal advice, and plaintiff acted out of a desire to protect his family from the malicious and false claims made by Clifford, the complaint says.

Cohen served prison time after pleading guilty to federal charges that included breaking federal financial campaign rules related to the payment to Daniels. Cohen was sentenced to three years but received an early release in November of 2021.
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Cohen testified before the grand jury that voted to indict Trump. He has also told ABC News he would be willing to testify against Trump in the criminal case.

The facts are the facts, Cohen said last month. The truth is the truth and the truth will always rise. So I'm not worried about anything that they want to come at me with. -Bernama/UPI