Trump files $500 million lawsuit

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Former US President Donald Trump has sued Michael Cohen for more than $500 million in damages, alleging that his former lawyer harmed his reputation by spreading lies about him and disclosing personal material that he was contractually and legally bound to keep private.

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, accuses Cohen of violating attorney-client privilege and breaching a confidentiality agreement “with malicious intent and to wholly self-serving ends.”

The filing comes one week after Trump was arrested on a 34-count criminal indictment in New York City, where Cohen is expected to be a key witness in allegations that his then-boss falsified business records to cover up election law violations during his successful 2016 presidential campaign.

According to the lawsuit, Cohen began breaching his fiduciary duties as Trump’s lawyer and violating his confidentiality agreement in 2018, when he was facing federal accusations for tax evasion, fraud, and campaign finance violations. According to the lawsuit, the most “egregious” violations happened in Cohen’s two books and his podcast. He also made several television appearances, accusing Trump of racism and hinting that, in order to avoid imprisonment, he may turn over national secrets to America’s adversaries.

According to the lawsuit, Cohen utilized insider information about Trump as well as “numerous inflammatory and false statements” to unfairly profit himself. He also allegedly exaggerated his expenses while working for Trump, claiming $74,000 in bogus costs.

A $130,000 hush-money payment made by Cohen on Trump’s behalf to porn star Stormy Daniels is at the heart of the former president’s criminal case in New York. Prosecutors believe Trump misrepresented the fee as a legal expense. According to Trump’s lawsuit, Cohen chose on his own to pay Daniels to stay quiet about her claims of an affair with the billionaire real estate mogul. Trump stated that he followed Cohen’s legal counsel and proceeded to protect his family from “malicious and false claims” made by Daniels.

Cohen previously told CBS News that the indictment against Trump is about responsibility. “I should not be held accountable for Donald Trump’s dirty deeds,” he declared. He went on to say that holding the former president and “those in his orbit” accountable is important “because it saves and preserves democracy.”