Former President Donald Trump and his company scored a huge court win over Michael Cohen, a former employee who sued Trump for $1.9 million claiming breach of contract over legal fees. Judge Joel Cohen tossed out Cohen’s lawsuit on Friday because the Trump Organization already paid “large swaths” of Cohen’s legal bills.
“In a nutshell, Mr. Cohen’s legal fees arise out of his (sometimes unlawful) service to Mr. Trump personally, to Mr. Trump’s campaign, and to the Trump Foundation, but not out of his service to the business of the Trump Organization, which is the only defendant in this case,” the judge wrote.
Lanny Davis, a lawyer for Michael Cohen and longtime hack for the Clintons, tweeted that the decision was “unfair” while asking for more contributions to a GoFundMe page set up for Cohen’s legal defense. The page has raised around $217,000.
In a statement, the Trump Organization called the ruling an “incredible victory” and said it would seek “monetary damages against Mr. Cohen for all of his despicable conduct.”
Trump’s statement said:
“Today’s incredible victory for the Trump Organization puts an end to the frivolous litigation by convicted felon Michael Cohen.
“While the Southern District of New York already found that Mr. Cohen engaged in a ‘smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct motivated by personal greed and ambition,’ Mr. Cohen attempted to invent a basis for requiring the Trump Organization to pay his legal fees for personal criminal conduct (including perjury).
“Mr. Cohen’s attempts at self-enrichment, however, once again failed.
“Having won this case, we now look forward to seeking monetary damages against Mr. Cohen for all of his despicable conduct.”
“I think it’s a terrible decision by Justice Cohen based upon the fact that I was directed to handle the matters that I did at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald J Trump and the Trump Organization. Over the course of the weekend I will be evaluating with my counsel whether to file an appeal or not,” Michael Cohen said.
In July 2017, according to the lawsuit filed in the New York state Supreme Court, the Trump Organization agreed to indemnify Cohen and to pay his attorneys’ fees and costs in connection with related investigations.
“The Trump Organization and Mr. Cohen were proceeding pursuant to a ‘joint defense’ at that time with respect to the Investigations and other matters,” the lawsuit says.
Cohen said the company had initially fulfilled its obligation, paying $137,460 in October 2017 to the firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP, which initially represented him, a figure that amounted to half of the invoices he had received. The Trump Organization then promised that the Trump presidential campaign would pay the remainder the following day, according to the lawsuit.
In a ruling more than two years after Cohen filed the lawsuit, Judge Joel Cohen determined that the blame was misplaced.
Michael Cohen said the ruling was a “terrible decision” and would take the weekend to decide on whether to file an appeal.https://t.co/IsdgKt4Fkt
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) November 13, 2021
Judge tosses Michael Cohen’s lawsuit over Trump legal billshttps://t.co/DTWEXqJCzS pic.twitter.com/kKpg47l4Qi
— The Hill (@thehill) November 12, 2021