Saturday, December 9, 2023

Trump drops $500 mn suit against former lawyer Michael Cohen

Trump drops $500 mn suit against former lawyer Michael Cohen
October 6, 2023 Web Desk

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Donald Trump has withdrawn a lawsuit he filed against Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer and fixer who has become one of his most vocal critics.

The former president filed suit against Cohen in a US District Court in Florida in April seeking $500 million for alleged breach of attorney-client privileges and a confidentiality agreement. In a filing with the court on Thursday, a lawyer for Trump said the former president was "voluntarily dismissing" the suit.

Cohen, in posts on X, formerly known as Twitter, noted that Trump's decision to drop the case came just days before the former president was scheduled to sit for a deposition. "As I have said from the beginning: this case was nothing more than a retaliatory intimidation tactic," Cohen said.

Cohen is a likely star witness in a criminal case facing the former president in New York for allegedly paying election-eve hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump has been charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with the payment. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Cohen says he arranged the $130,000 payment in exchange for Daniels' silence about a tryst she says she had with Trump in 2006. Cohen was sentenced in 2018 to three years in prison for various crimes, including the hush-money case and tax evasion, but was released after a little over a year and served the remainder of his sentence in home confinement.

In the now-withdrawn lawsuit, Trump had accused Cohen of "spreading falsehoods" about him and claimed to have suffered "vast reputational harm." The hush money case is just one of several legal battles facing Trump as he seeks to recapture the White House in 2024.

He is to go on trial in Washington in March 2024 for conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election and in Florida in May 2024 on charges of mishandling top secret government documents. Trump also faces racketeering charges in Georgia for allegedly conspiring to upend the election results in the southern state.

Trump and his two eldest sons are also currently on trial in New York for allegedly inflating the value of their real estate assets to receive more favorable bank loans and insurance terms.