Michael Cohen sued the Trump Organization on Thursday, seeking $1.9 million in legal fees claims he claims weren’t paid because he started cooperating with the feds.
“Mr. Cohen has incurred millions of dollars in unreimbursed attorneys’ fees and costs, plus additional indemnifiable amounts, and continues to incur attorneys’ fees and costs in connection with various ongoing investigations and litigation,” according to the lawsuit filed in a New York court.
Cohen, a former Trump Organization executive and fixer for President Donald Trump, alleges the organization failed to pay his fees after June 2018. That amounts to a breach of contract between Cohen and the Trump Organization, Cohen claims.
“The Trump Organization breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the indemnification agreement,” the lawsuit alleges.
After the FBI raided his home and office in April 2018, Cohen maintained a joint defense agreement with Trump. That agreement was later all but broken when Cohen agreed to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
In August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to SDNY charges of financial and campaign-finance crimes. In November, he pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mueller that Cohen lied to Congress about Trump’s business dealings in Russia. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for his various crimes and will begin serving time in May.
News of Cohen suing the Trump Organization comes a day after he finished testifying on Capitol Hill about his interactions with the president, his inner circle, and his lawyers during the 2016 campaign and into the early days of the administration. Much of Cohen’s testimony focused on the work he carried out for Trump as it related to his candidacy and building a Trump Tower in Moscow.
In a statement to the Daily Beast on Thursday, attorney Marc Mukasey, whose firm, Mukasey Frenchman & Sklaroff LLP, is representing the Trump Organization on the Cohen case, disputed Cohen's version of events. “The Trump Organization doesn't owe Michael Cohen one penny of legal fees. This is a desperate money-grab by a desperate convicted felon.”
-- Betsy Woodruff contributed reporting