US President Donald Trump has filed a lawsuit against his former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen.
Cohen, who is expected to be a crucial witness in the criminal case against Trump in New York, is being sued for $500 million in a US District Court in Florida over his alleged breach of 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 is currently facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, whom Cohen allegedly paid in exchange for her silence about an alleged tryst with Trump in 2006.
Trump, who pleaded not guilty to the charges in a Manhattan court on April 4, claims that Cohen has spread falsehoods about him and caused him significant reputational harm. The lawsuit alleges that Cohen’s “continuous and escalating improper conduct” has left Trump with no choice but to seek legal action.
Trump is seeking compensatory and punitive damages of more than $500 million and a jury trial. The 76-year-old former real estate tycoon has a long history of engaging in legal battles and attacking opponents in court.
Cohen, who is now 56, has acknowledged paying Daniels on Trump’s behalf and has been sentenced to three years in prison for various crimes, including the hush money case and tax evasion. He is expected to be a crucial witness for the prosecution if the criminal case against Trump goes to trial.
Despite the charges against him, Trump has maintained his innocence and accused the Manhattan district attorney, a Democrat, of launching a political witch hunt against him to derail his 2024 White House campaign.