Trump Drops Lawsuit Against Lawyer Michael Cohen, Intends to Resume Legal Fight Later

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
October 6, 2023Donald Trump
Trump Drops Lawsuit Against Lawyer Michael Cohen, Intends to Resume Legal Fight Later
(Left) Former President Donald Trump at the start of his civil trial at New York State Supreme Court in New York City on Oct. 2, 2023. (Brendan McDermid-Pool/Getty Images) (Right) Former Trump Attorney Michael Cohen leaves the district attorney's office after completing his testimony before a grand jury in New York on March 15, 2023. (Yuki Iwamura/AFP via Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump has filed to dismiss his lawsuit against Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer, but plans to revisit his claims at a later time.

The former president sued Mr. Cohen in April seeking $500 million in damages over the lawyer’s alleged breach of attorney-client duties, unjust enrichment, and other causes.

“Plaintiff, President Donald J. Trump, by and through undersigned counsel, hereby gives notice that … he is voluntarily dismissing this action without prejudice,” President Trump’s legal team said Thursday in the court filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

After President Trump’s lawyers filed to dismiss the civil case, Mr. Cohen’s attorney Danya Perry said in a statement that the former president was scheduled for deposition on Monday.

“Rather than be deposed by me on Monday, Donald J. Trump voluntarily dismissed his $500 million lawsuit against our client Michael Cohen,” Ms. Perry wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Mr. Cohen was President Trump’s personal attorney from 2006 to 2018, and also once served as a vice president of the Trump Organization.

In 2018, he was convicted after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations linked to hush-money payments, made during President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and another woman alleging affairs with President Trump. Mr. Cohen served part of a three-year prison term—from May 2019 to July 2020—for these charges.

The former president has denied both the affairs and making the payments.

Lawsuit Against Cohen

President Trump’s civil lawsuit against Mr. Cohen had requested a jury trial and sought relief that was “expected to substantially exceed” $500 million in damages.

The civil lawsuit accused Mr. Cohen of breaking a confidentiality agreement that he signed as a condition of his employment. He also accused Mr. Cohen of “spreading falsehoods … with malicious intent” and inflicting “vast reputational harm” by talking publicly about the hush-money payments, which are central to other criminal charges President Trump currently faces in New York.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal case against President Trump is centered, in part, on a payment the former president allegedly made to Ms. Daniels via Mr. Cohen. President Trump had filed the civil lawsuit after Mr. Cohen testified before a Manhattan grand jury that voted to indict President Trump with 34 counts of felony falsifying business records.

A Trump spokesperson previously told The Epoch Times in a statement in April, “The lawsuit and the many wrongdoings by Michael Cohen—a convicted felon—stand for themselves, and have been admitted to by Cohen himself through his falsehood-filled books, podcasts, and constant media appearances.”

Mr. Cohen’s conduct after his 12-year attorney-client relationship with President Trump ended in 2018 consisted of “multiple breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, conversion, and breaches of contract,” as well as “spreading falsehoods” about President Trump that would likely be “embarrassing or detrimental,” the lawsuit alleged.

The New York criminal charges were the first of four indictments against President Trump—the first former president in the United States to be indicted. Two federal indictments followed, one with 40 counts related to the alleged retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago, Florida, home, and another with four counts regarding alleged efforts to dispute the results of the 2020 election. The fourth indictment involves 13 charges against President Trump, among them a racketeering conspiracy stemming from efforts to dispute the 2020 election results in Georgia.

President Trump has proclaimed his innocence in all the cases and has accused President Joe Biden, a Democrat, and his administration of targeting him for political reasons.

Trump Plans to Revisit Civil Case

Mr. Cohen had asked the court in May to throw out the lawsuit against him, calling it an “abusive act of pure retaliation and witness intimidation.” He reiterated on Thursday the lawsuit was “nothing more than a retaliatory intimidation tactic.”

“Mr. Trump’s cowardly dismissal spells the end of this latest attempt to deter me from providing truthful testimony against him,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement. “My legal team and I now look forward to turning our full attention to holding Mr. Trump accountable for his latest abuse of the legal system. More to come.”

A spokesperson for President Trump said on Thursday that the former president plans to revisit his claims in the future, but is momentarily halting his legal battle with Mr. Cohen because of his run for presidency and ongoing legal cases.

“Given that President Trump is required to sit for deposition in a civil matter on Columbus Day, when he is scheduled to be in the Great State of New Hampshire, and while the President is fighting against the meritless claims that have been lodged against him in New York, Washington D.C., Florida, and Georgia, as well as continuing his winning campaign … President Trump has decided to temporarily pause his meritorious claims against Michael Cohen,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

President Trump is the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

The spokesperson added that once President Trump “has prevailed in dealing with the witch hunts against him, he will continue to pursue his claims against Michael Cohen, who rightfully deserves to, and will be held accountable for his unlawful words and actions just as the Southern District of New York held him accountable for numerous non-Trump related acts and crimes, making Cohen a very ‘proud’ felon.”

Gary Bai and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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