Former President Donald Trump is suing his former lawyer Michael Cohen for over $500 million, alleging unjust enrichment, attorney-client relationship, and more.
On Wednesday, Trump’s legal team filed the over 30-page federal lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Florida’s Southern District.
“This is an action arising from [Cohen’s] multiple breaches of fiduciary duty unjust enrichment, conversion, and breaches of contract by virtue of [Cohen’s] past service as [Trump’s] employee and attorney,” stated the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges Mr. Cohen breached his attorney-client relationship by “spreading falsehoods” about the former president that were “likely to be embarrassing or detrimental and partook in other misconduct” while additionally breaching the confidentiality agreement terms that he signed to be employed by Trump.
The lawsuit alleges Trump’s former lawyer spread falsehoods about former President Trump “with malicious intent and to wholly self-serving ends.”
Trump’s lawsuit details Cohen’s “myriad of public statements, including the publication of two books, a podcast series, and innumerable mainstream media appearances,” while ignoring orders to “cease and desist.”
According to the claims, in recent months, “increased the frequency and hostility of the illicit acts” and “appears to have become emboldened and repeatedly continues to make wrongful and false statements” about the former president through various platforms.
Cohen’s actions have left Trump with “no alternative” but to seek legal redress
“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,” stated the lawsuit, and added that Trump has “suffered vast reputational harm as a direct result of [Cohen’s] breaches.”
The lawsuit follows a week after the former president pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan courtroom to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the state, related to an alleged hush money payment made to former stripper and porn star Stormy Daniels, and ex-Playboy model, Karen McDougal, before the 2016 presidential election. Cohen maintains he made the payments at the direction of Trump.
A source close to the Trump legal team, the complaint “has nothing to do with the Manhattan DA’s lawless and fact-less case and is a totally separate matter.”
In 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to arranging the hush money payments — among other federal charges — before the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen also pleads guilty to making false statements to Congress, making false statements to a financial institution, and tax evasion. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison.
Southern District of New York federal prosecutors opted out of charging former President Trump about the alleged hush money payments in 2019. However, the Federal Election Commission dropped its case in 2021.
When asked for a comment about the lawsuit, Lanny Davis, Cohen’s attorney, said, “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,” said Davis. “Mr. Cohen will not be deterred and is confident that the suit will fail based on the facts and the law.”
“Is there anyone in America, aside from a shrinking minority base of believers, who takes Mr. Trump seriously when he files these lawsuits?”
In the meantime, Trump’s lawsuit details Mr. Cohen’s employment as counsel for the Trump Organization, starting in 2006, and past statements made by Cohen about his role working for Trump.