Trump's Company, Cohen Settle

Lawsuit over legal bills could have put former president's son on the stand
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 21, 2023 2:45 PM CDT
Trump Organization Settles Cohen's Suit Over Legal Bills
Michael Cohen speaks to reporters after appearing before a grand jury investigating hush money payments made on Donald Trump's behalf in March in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Donald Trump's company and his former longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen have settled a lawsuit over Cohen's claims that he was unfairly stuck with big legal bills after becoming entangled in investigations into the former president. Lawyers for the two sides disclosed the settlement during a video conference with the judge on Friday, three days before Cohen's 2019 lawsuit was slated to go to trial in a Manhattan state court. Details of the agreement were not made public, the AP reports, but Cohen said the matter "has been resolved in a manner satisfactory to all parties." Trump's company, the Trump Organization, did not immediately comment.

The legal fees lawsuit was one of the more obscure branches of the thicket of legal troubles surrounding Trump and his company. Still, the trial stood to give a platform to Cohen—an ardent Trump loyalist who became an outspoken antagonist—and to put the ex-president's son Donald Trump Jr. on the witness stand. Cohen claimed in his lawsuit that the Trump Organization had promised to pay his legal expenses and did so for a time, footing more than $1.7 million in legal fees. But, Cohen said, the company reneged after he began cooperating with federal prosecutors in their investigations related to Trump's business dealings in Russia and attempts to silence women with embarrassing stories about his personal life.

Cohen's lawyers stopped representing him after the company stopped paying. His suit said that harmed his ability to respond to the federal investigations, per the AP. In court papers, the Trump Organization disputed that it made certain promises and has said it satisfied any obligations it did have. The company also has argued that Cohen's involvement in the federal investigations wasn't an outgrowth of his former job but rather a personal decision to try to reduce his own criminal legal exposure as an indictment loomed. Trump has sued Cohen, accusing him of violating a confidentiality agreement, breaching ethical standards for lawyers, and maliciously "spreading falsehoods" about Trump. A Cohen spokesman, Lanny Davis, has responded that Trump was abusing the legal system to harass Cohen.

(Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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