A lawsuit was filed by former US President Donald Trump against his ex-personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who is expected to be a key witness in the criminal case against Trump in New York.
The lawsuit was filed in a US District Court in Florida and seeks $500 million from Cohen for allegedly violating attorney-client privileges and a confidentiality agreement, according to AFP.
Cohen was one of the witnesses who testified before the grand jury that indicted Trump, making him the first former or sitting US president to face criminal charges. He has been charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with a payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Cohen says he arranged the $130,000 payment in exchange for her silence about a tryst Daniels claims she had with Trump in 2006.
On April 4, Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges in a Manhattan court. In his lawsuit against Cohen, Trump accuses him of spreading falsehoods and damaging his reputation. The suit alleges that Cohen’s improper conduct has left Trump with no alternative but to seek legal redress.
The former real estate tycoon is seeking a jury trial and compensatory and punitive damages exceeding $500 million. This legal battle is not the first for the 76-year-old, who has a long history of lawsuits and attacking his opponents in court.
Cohen, 56, was sentenced to three years in prison for various crimes, including the hush-money case and tax evasion. He has acknowledged paying Daniels on Trump’s behalf and is expected to be a star witness for the prosecution if the criminal case against Trump in Manhattan ever comes to trial.
Trump denies any wrongdoing and claims he is the victim of a political witch hunt by the Manhattan district attorney, who is a Democrat and allegedly intends to derail his 2024 White House campaign.