In 2019, former Trump personal lawyer-turned-outspoken Trump critic Michael Cohen sued the Trump Organization in an attempt to get the company to pay his legal fees.
On Friday, in a big win for the Trump Organization and former President Donald Trump, a New York judge threw the lawsuit out.
“In a nutshell, Mr. Cohen’s legal fees arise out of his (sometimes unlawful) service to Mr. Trump personally, to Mr. Trump’s campaign, and to the Trump Foundation, but not out of his service to the business of the Trump Organization, which is the only defendant in this case,” Judge Joel Cohen, who is not related to Michael Cohen, wrote in his decision, according to The Associated Press.
Michael Cohen was at one time a loyal aide to Trump. Then, he started cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
“Cohen pleaded guilty in August 2018 to tax crimes, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations, some of which involved his role in orchestrating payments to two women to keep them from talking publicly about alleged affairs with Trump,” the AP reported.
In his lawsuit, Michael Cohen claimed the Trump Organization promised in 2017 it would pay his attorneys’ fees.
“The Trump Organization and Mr. Cohen were proceeding pursuant to a ‘joint defense’ at that time with respect to the Investigations and other matters,” the lawsuit said, according to CNN.
Initially, Michael Cohen said, the Trump Organization did cover his legal fees. Then, it allegedly said the Trump campaign would do so instead.
Michael Cohen sought to have the Trump Organization pay him $1.9 million in attorneys’ fees, plus another $1.9 million that he was forced to give up when he was sentenced, “which he said arose from conduct he undertook at the behest of the Trump Organization and its principals, directors, and officers,” the AP reported.
In a statement, the Trump Organization celebrated the legal win.
“Mr. Cohen’s attempts at self-enrichment, however, once again failed. Having won this case, we now look forward to seeking monetary damages against Mr. Cohen for all of his despicable conduct,” the statement added.
But Michael Cohen was not pleased, and signaled he may appeal.