Well, the legal headaches for the Trump family business keep growing.
As reported by ABC, Michael Cohen, who infamously worked for years as a so-called fixer for Donald before publicly breaking with him and helping reveal some of the secrets of his corruption, “can sue the Trump Organization to cover millions of dollars in legal fees.” The decision allowing the litigation was from an appeals court in New York and reverses an earlier finding, while the covered legal fees are connected to a wide variety of legal contexts, including the long concluded investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into various aspects of the Trump team’s ties to Russia, investigations in New York into the Trump family business (which have now culminated in two sets of court proceedings against the company), and an FBI search warrant under which agents infamously obtained some of Cohen’s records. Separately, ABC notes that a lawsuit from Cohen alleging he faced retaliation amid a prison term and was remanded back into custody in specific connection to a book he was preparing that was critical of Trump was recently dismissed.
Five judges decided on Cohen’s challenge over legal fees at the appeals level, and they unanimously ruled in his favor. The appeals court found that the lack of clear connection between Cohen’s legal costs and his work for the Trump company itself wasn’t enough to mean Cohen couldn’t bring the challenge. The case “should not have been dismissed based on the finding that those fees were not, as a matter of law, incurred by reason of the fact that he had been an employee of defendant,” the appeals court judges said. Joel Cohen, the judge who handled Cohen’s case at an earlier stage, ruled more conclusively that the legal fees weren’t connected to the former fixer’s work for the Trump business, which was apparently the only entity actually named in the case as a defendant. Cohen originally sought $1.9 million in fees alongside $1.9 million he was under order to forfeit in a criminal case, although totals have apparently shifted since he filed the case — all the way back in the early parts of 2019.