Trump hits former fixer Michael Cohen with $500M lawsuit

Source: The Hill | April 12, 2023 | Zach Schonfeld

Former President Trump sued his former fixer Michael Cohen on Wednesday over breach of contract and other claims, hitting back at his former personal attorney who has since turned against the 45th president.

The 32-page complaint takes aim at Cohen’s book, podcast and many media appearances, alleging he maliciously worked to acquire attention and wealth at Trump’s expense. The suit asks for damages in an amount to be determined at trial, although the complaint says the amount is “expected to substantially exceed” $500 million.

“Defendant breached the contractual terms of the confidentiality agreement he signed as a condition of employment with Plaintiff by both revealing Plaintiff’s confidences, and spreading falsehoods about Plaintiff with malicious intent and to wholly self-serving ends,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit also claims Cohen lied about the cost of a business expense, causing the Trump Organization to pay him $74,000 more than he was entitled.

Fox News was the first to report the lawsuit being filed.

Cohen is expected to serve as a key witness in the Manhattan District Attorney’s criminal prosecution of Trump over hush money payments prosecutors say Cohen made on Trump’s behalf to hide an affair. The lawsuit does not mention Trump’s recent indictment directly, but the claims include Cohen’s statements about the hush payment arrangement at the center of Trump’s case. 

The suit, which was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, alleges Cohen has regularly revealed information that was deemed confidential by the nature of their attorney-client relationship, with Trump further claiming that significant portions of Cohen’s claims are false.

In particular, the lawsuit revolves around the contents of Cohen’s 2020 book, “Disloyal,” and a podcast he launched the same year, called “Mea Culpa.”

“Despite being advertised as a factual memoir, Disloyal is replete with mischaracterizations, falsehoods, and flat-out misrepresentations about Plaintiff,” the suit states.


The suit mentions four times that Cohen hosted Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, on his podcast, claiming the episodes delved “into the details of her allegations against Plaintiff and revealing purported client confidences about 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.”

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