Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for Donald Trump who has found himself dead center in the investigation into Trump’s shady and often illegal business dealings, apparently had one more surprise for Team Trump on Thursday, when he and his team of attorneys served the Trump Organization with a new lawsuit — and it’s exactly the kind of thing that sets off his former boss.
Cohen argues in New York state Supreme Court that the Trump Organization, where Cohen worked for roughly a decade as an executive vice president and special counsel to Trump, had a ‘contractual agreement’ to compensate Cohen and ‘to pay attorneys’ fees and costs’ incurred through his work ‘with and on behalf of’ company officials.”
But that is definitely not the best part of Cohen’s lawsuit. Not only is Cohen claiming that the Trump Organization owes him nearly $2 million in unpaid legal expenses, but that the company should also be paying the $1.9 million that Cohen himself was ordered to forfeit in the judgment against him in court at his sentencing — since his sentence came from acts carried out on behalf of Trump and the Trump Organization.
Not to put too fine a point on it: This is a monumental lawsuit that could have legal and financial repercussions for Donald Trump unlike any verdict that might be returned by the special counsel, Congress, or even the Southern District of New York. If Cohen succeeds in putting Trump on the hook for legal fees and fines associated with committing crimes in Trump’s service, the floodgates will open for every single witness, every former aide who’s been investigated or pled guilty, and every company or contractor he’s stiffed after completing jobs for him.
Trump may be inflating his financial worth in public when it suits him to look like a billionaire and minimizing the appearance of his wealth when it comes time to pay taxes, but one thing is certain: If this lawsuit succeeds, Trump will be worth absolutely nothing in the end.
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