By Gary Bai
Former President Donald Trump filed on Wednesday a civil complaint against his former lawyer Michael Cohen for more than $500 million in damages resulting from Cohen’s alleged breach of his attorney-client duties with Trump, unjust enrichment, and other causes, a Trump spokesperson confirmed with The Epoch Times.
“The lawsuit and the many wrongdoings by Michael Cohen—a convicted felon—stand for themselves, and have been admitted to by Cohen himself through his falsehood-filled books, podcasts, and constant media appearances,” a Trump spokesperson wrote to The Epoch Times in a statement. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday.
The civil lawsuit is legally unrelated to the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal case against the former president, but Cohen’s public statements about the case leading up to the historic indictment against the former president are cited as supporting facts in the complaint. For example, it cited Cohen’s appearance in a podcast episode in March 2023, when the attorney talked about his role in arranging a payment Trump allegedly made to adult entertainment actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump. Trump denied having an affair with Daniels.
Trump’s lawsuit seeks a relief that is “expected to substantially exceed” $500 million in damages and requests a jury trial.
Cohen was Trump’s attorney from 2006 to 2018 and was a vice president of the Trump Organization. He was convicted of federal charges related to campaign finance violations and other federal charges in 2018.
Cohen’s conduct after his attorney-client relationship with Trump consisted of “multiple breaches of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, conversion, and breaches of contract,” as well as “spreading falsehoods” about Trump that would likely be “embarrassing or detrimental,” the lawsuit alleges.
Specifically, Cohen breached his fiduciary duties when he revealed Trump’s confidences and spread falsehoods about Trump via “public statements, including the publication of two books, a podcast series, and innumerable mainstream media appearances,” the lawsuit states.
For example, the lawsuit stated, Cohen published his book “Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Formal Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump,” to reveal confidential information about the plaintiff, and thereby violated the confidentiality agreement.
Leading up to the indictment against Trump in April, Cohen has “increased the frequency and hostility of the illicit acts,” the lawsuit alleges, and “appears to have become emboldened and repeatedly continues to make wrongful and false statements.”
Trump has “suffered vast reputational harm as a direct result of Cohen’s breaches,” the filing claims, and “such continuous and escalating improper conduct by Cohen has reached a proverbial crescendo and has left Trump with no alternative but to seek legal redress through this action.”
The filing also alleged that Cohen illegally converted Trump’s business property when Cohen “fraudulently misrepresented a business expenditure and stated that he was owed an extra $74,000 over the true amount of the expenditure.”
This is a developing story.