Following 34 felony counts, Trump sues former lawyer Michael Cohen for $500 million
Donald Trump provided a busy start to the month, becoming the first former or sitting US president ever indicted on criminal charges.
He was charged in Manhattan criminal court on April 4 with 34 felony counts of business fraud, concerning an alleged hush money payment made to former adult actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about her alleged sexual encounter with him.
And Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has admitted facilitating a $130,000 pay-out to Daniels.
Following the court hearing from last week, the businessman-turned-politician is now suing Cohen for $500 million, alleging he breached his duty as an attorney to act in his client’s best interests.
Cohen is a key witness in the probe into Trump and the lawsuit, filed in a Florida federal court, has arrived amid increasing attacks from the politician’s allies on him. The lawsuit also accuses Cohen of making improper statements “about his former client, his family members, and his business”.
Cohen was often described as Trump’s fixer. He worked as the politician’s attorney for more than a decade. But the two had a major falling out after the 2016 presidential election, which Trump eventually won, as investigators started looking into Trump’s aides.
The lawyer was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to charges of campaign finance violations and fraud. Now out into the open world again, he has become a prominent critic of Trump and is frequently seen as a guest on news programmes.
In a statement to the BBC, Cohen’s spokesperson and lawyer, Lanny Davis, said he was confident the lawsuit would fail.