Former President Donald Trump filed on Wednesday a civil complaint against his former lawyer Michael Cohen for more than $500 million in damages resulting from Cohen’s alleged breach of his attorney-client duties with Trump, unjust enrichment, and other causes, a Trump spokesperson confirmed with The Epoch Times.
“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,” a Trump spokesperson wrote to The Epoch Times in a statement. The lawsuit was filed in the Southern District Court of New York on Tuesday.
Cohen’s conduct after his 12-year attorney-client relationship with Trump ending in 2018 consisted of “multiple breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, conversion, and breaches of contract,” as well as “spreading falsehoods” about Trump that would likely be “embarrassing or detrimental,” the lawsuit alleges.
Trump’s lawsuit seeks relief that is “expected to substantially exceed” $500 million in damages and requests a jury trial.
The civil lawsuit is legally unrelated to the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal case against the former president, but Cohen’s public statements about the case leading up to Bragg’s indictment against the former president are cited as supporting facts in the complaint. Bragg’s indictment is centered on a payment Trump allegedly made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, via Cohen.
Cohen was Trump’s attorney from 2006 to 2018 and was a vice president of the Trump Organization. He was convicted of federal charges related to campaign finance violations in 2018, in connection with arranging payments to Daniels and another woman claiming to have had an affair with Trump. Cohen served a prison sentence from May 2019 to July 2020 for these charges. Trump denied having an affair with either woman or making the payment.
After the relationship between Trump and Cohen ended, Trump’s Tuesday filing states, Cohen committed “an onslaught of fiduciary and contractual breaches against [Trump] by making numerous inflammatory and false statements” about Trump.
For example, the filing states that Cohen breached fiduciary duties when he revealed Trump’s confidences and spread falsehoods about Trump via “public statements, including the publication of two books, a podcast series, and innumerable mainstream media appearances.”
Cohen’s 2020 book titled “Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Formal Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump,” is another example of this breach of duty, the filing reads, as the book revealed confidential information about the plaintiff and thereby violated a confidentiality agreement between Trump and Cohen.
“Despite being advertised as a factual memoir, Disloyal is replete with mischaracterizations, falsehoods, and flat-out misrepresentations about [Trump],” the lawsuit alleges.
Another book that Cohen published in 2022, “Revenge: How Donald Trump Weaponized the US Department of Justice Against His Critics,” also included confidential information violating the confidentiality agreement, the complaint reads.
Cohen’s publishing of those books was a part of “wrongful actions were intentional, calculated, malicious, and motivated by his desire to acquire fame, attention, notoriety, and wealth,” the complaint states, adding that Cohen was “unjustly enriched” via these efforts.
Leading up to the indictment against Trump in April, Cohen has “increased the frequency and hostility of the illicit acts,” the lawsuit alleges, and “appears to have become emboldened and repeatedly continues to make wrongful and false statements.”
For example, the filing cites Cohen’s podcast “Mea Culpa,” which Cohen launched in September 2020, and states that the attorney has been revealing “confidential information gleaned by nature of his prior attorney-client relationship” with Trump and information about Trump’s personal and private life.
In four episodes in February 2021, September 2021, January 2022, and April 2022, Cohen invited Daniels on the podcast and discussed with Daniels her purported interactions with Trump.
Cohen re-aired the February 2021 episode featuring Daniels in March 2023, around the period in which Cohen testified to a grand jury that eventually voted to indict Trump on 34 counts of felony-level falsifying business records in connection with Trump’s alleged payment to Daniels.
Trump has “suffered vast reputational harm as a direct result of [Cohen’s] breaches,” the filing claims, and “such continuous and escalating improper conduct by [Cohen] has reached a proverbial crescendo and has left [Trump] with no alternative but to seek legal redress through this action.”
The filing also alleged that Cohen illegally converted Trump’s business property when Cohen “fraudulently misrepresented a business expenditure and stated that he was owed an extra $74,000 over the true amount of the expenditure.”
In response to a request to comment, Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, told Fox News Digital that “Mr. Trump is once again using and abusing the judicial system as a form of harassment and intimidation against Michael Cohen.
“It appears he is terrified by his looming legal perils and is attempting to send a message to other potential witnesses who are cooperating with prosecutors against him,” Davis told Fox. “Mr. Cohen will not be deterred and is confident that the suit will fail based on the facts and the law.”
From The Epoch Times