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Michael Cohen settles lawsuit against Trump Organisation days before its trial

Former Trump Attorney Michael Cohen arrives at the district attorney´s office to complete his testimony before a grand jury on March 15, 2023, in New York. — AFP
Former Trump Attorney Michael Cohen arrives at the district attorney´s office to complete his testimony before a grand jury on March 15, 2023, in New York. — AFP

Former US President Donald Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen has settled the lawsuit he filed against his previous employer, the Trump Organisation, days before it was set to go to trial.

According to reports, Cohen had planned to call one of Donald Trump’s sons as a witness in the trial for the lawsuit that he filed in 2019, suing the company for unpaid legal fees for his work defending Trump and himself during investigations in 2017 and 2018.

He had also sued the organisation for owing him legal fees for his work defending Trump and himself during roughly 20 meetings with the Manhattan district attorney and a grand jury prior to Trumpis indictment in March, CBS News reported.

There has been no comment from a spokesperson over the recent settlement of Cohen’s lawsuit against the organisation.

Although the case was settled prior to trial, the executive vice president of the Trump Organisation was a pertinent possible witness because the business paid for his legal representation in connection with some of the same issues for which Cohen is suing.

“We would like to introduce testimony about what Trump Jr. paid his lawyers in the exact same matters,” said the attorney, Hunter Winstead.

While Cohen accepted a guilty plea to federal campaign finance violations and tax evasion in 2018, the business claims that Cohen’s criminal behaviour violated whatever agreements it had with him.

Cohen is also a crucial witness in the Manhattan criminal prosecution and is now an opponent of Trump, embroiled in a complicated web of legal disputes involving his former employer.

Cohen’s lawyers claim that the case in which he is a pivotal witness against Trump cost him more than $500,000 in legal fees.

Donald Trump, who has been caught up in a whirlwind of legal investigations and lawsuits, entered a not-guilty plea in the case which centres on a series of reimbursements paid to Cohen after the ex-lawyer arranged a “hush money” payment to the adult film star Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election.

Recently, Judge Aileen Cannon has set the case for May 20, 2024, despite Donald Trump’s requests for the trial to be postponed until after the November 2024 presidential election.

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