Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen filed a lawsuit Thursday alleging that the president’s business organization broke its promise to pay his legal bills, which Cohen says now total $1.9 million.
The lawsuit, filed in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan, contends that the Trump Organization stopped paying Cohen’s legal fees approximately two months after the FBI raided the home and office of president’s former fixer in April 2018.
Months later, Cohen agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in at least two separate investigations: Robert Mueller’s probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election, and the case in the Southern District of New York stemming from hush money payments made to two women alleged to have engaged in extramarital affairs with Trump.
Cohen’s complaint alleges that in July 2017, the Trump Organization agreed to pay his legal fees throughout the investigations of the president but stopped doing so last May.
“Mr. Cohen has incurred millions of dollars in unreimbursed attorney’s fees and costs, plus additional indemnifiable amounts, and continues to incur attorneys’ fees and costs in connection with various ongoing investigations and litigation,” the complaint reads.
Cohen, who begins a three-year prison sentence in May, contends that the Trump Organization also owes him an additional $1.9 million for fines assessed for crimes he says he committed on behalf of the president.
During his explosive testimony before the House Oversight Committee last week, Cohen testified that his lawyer, Lanny Davis, was not being paid “at the present.”
Trump has denied that he ever put Cohen up to paying off porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the 2016 presidential race but has also called Cohen a “rat” because of his cooperation with prosecutors.
Cohen presented checks, signed by Trump, to the House committee, stating they were part of the reimbursement he received for a $130,000 payment to Daniels in exchange for her silence.
While Trump initially denied all knowledge of the payments to Daniels, he offered a new explanation on Friday.
It was not a campaign contribution, and there were no violations of the campaign finance laws by me. Fake News!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2019
Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani continued to hammer Cohen’s credibility on Friday regarding a report that Cohen asked the president’s legal team about the possibility of a pardon shortly after the FBI raid of his office and home. Cohen testified last week that he had never sought a pardon from Trump.
The defense now to Cohen saying under oath he NEVER asked for a pardon is a familiar one; What’s The Meaning of Never. Serial liars often try the same deception too often. Let’s hope Congress and DOJ are outraged at Cohen’s disrespecting them by perjuring himself repeatedly.— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) March 7, 2019
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