Michael Cohen cleared to sue Trump Organization for millions

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, departs for a break in his testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon/AP

Michael Cohen cleared to sue Trump Organization for millions

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Onetime Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen was given the go-ahead to sue the Trump Organization for millions in legal fees, a New York court ruled.

Determining that a prior judge erred last November when he tossed out Cohen’s lawsuit against former President Donald Trump’s business empire, the Appellate Division in Manhattan concluded that the Trump Organization may be liable for his legal costs.

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“[It] should not have been dismissed based on the finding that those fees were not, as a matter of law, incurred by reason of the fact that he had been an employee of defendant,” the court ruled, according to ABC.

Last November, trial Judge Joel Cohen ruled that the legal fees that Michael Cohen amassed from congressional investigations and special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry pertained to Trump’s personal affairs, not the Trump Organization, the defendant listed in the suit.

Cohen claimed the Trump Organization stopped footing the bills for his legal fees after he began cooperating with multiple inquiries. The New York appeals court ultimately emphasized in its 5–0 ruling that he was an employee of the Trump Organization at the time, meaning that he may have been entitled to reimbursements.

The legal victory came after Cohen suffered a setback Monday in a separate lawsuit against Trump, former Attorney General William Barr, and others alleging that he was the victim of retaliation. He was briefly sent back to jail from home confinement back in 2020.

At the time, he had been serving out a sentence for lying to Congress and breaching a campaign-finance law. Cohen alleged the Justice Department briefly sent him to jail in retaliation for his vocal criticism of Trump and plans to promote a tell-all book on Trump. He was eventually released back to home confinement in July 2020.

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A federal judge was sympathetic to Cohen’s suit over the incident but argued he was hamstrung by Supreme Court precedent governing litigation against federal officials.

“Granting this motion prevents me from obtaining documents that would expose what happens when you have a corrupt president who weaponizes the DOJ through a complicit Attorney General,” Cohen said in a statement, according to Business Insider. “At every turn, I have been silenced or derailed in my efforts to expose the unethical and unconstitutional tactics.”

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