The drama involving former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is continuing to unfold. Not long after he appeared publicly before Congress to lambast the president’s behavior both in and out of office, he’s now filed a lawsuit against the Trump Organization alleging that they refused to pay his legal fees as contracted after he began considering cooperating with prosecutors. The money would have covered the now former lawyer’s legal fees as part of a now defunct joint legal defense agreement that he had entered into with the president covering his work with the Trump Organization. Cohen is also more specifically seeking $1.9 million that he was ordered to pay after pleading guilty to federal financial crimes. He changed his legal team and stopped resisting after the money stopped coming in.
The irony in this situation runs deep. During his public appearance before the House Oversight Committee last week, he explained how numerous times, Trump had the now former lawyer act as his errand boy, notifying small businesses with whom the Trump Organization had worked that they would not be getting money they’d previously been promised or otherwise been expecting.
There’s plenty of evidence for Cohen’s claim in the form of a whopping number of lawsuits Donald Trump and his business have been involved in, including some centering specifically on claims from plantiffs that they hadn’t been paid what they were owed. In an overview of more than 3,000 legal disputes he was involved in during the decades leading up to his presidential firm USA Today explains that “[a]t times, he and his companies refuse to pay even relatively small bills,” telling multiple stories of firms that had been abruptly left out in the cold thanks to something like the eventual president saying in a sworn deposition that he didn’t “feel that these people did very much, if anything, with respect to this deal” — as if business runs on “feeling.”
Of course, there’s a complicating factor in Cohen’s case — him having flipped on the president. Anyone who’s heard of Trump’s Twitter feed knows how precious his public image is to him.
To that end, he’s dismissed Cohen as a “rat” for engaging in cooperation that’s included talks with Mueller’s office, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, and Congress — which he has pleaded guilty to lying to before he decided to flip. For that and crimes including an illegal hush money scheme targeting women with whom Trump had affairs, Cohen will soon be reporting for a three year prison sentence. As part of the lead-up to his decision to cooperate, he’s previously been reported to have been concerned about the effects of asset seizures on his family’s financial well-being, which his effort to get what he’s supposedly owed from Trump fits into.
Trump has dismissed Cohen’s legitimacy again after he testified before Congress, claiming he’s a liar who just wants to “reduce his prison time,” and numerous high-profile Republicans like Reps. Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio) have backed the president up in his complaints about the former ally.
That too is deeply ironic however, since Trump has been documented to have lied literally thousands upon thousands of times since taking office.
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