Former President Donald Trump’s company will not have to pay legal bills incurred by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who went to prison after pleading guilty to tax and additional crimes.
A judge in New York made the ruling on Friday, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
“Judge Joel M. Cohen threw out Cohen’s breach of contract lawsuit against the Trump Organization, rejecting his claims that the company had promised to cover his legal bills and finding that fees he racked up as a result of the criminal investigation into his conduct weren’t the company’s responsibility,” the outlet said.
Michael Cohen stated in the lawsuit that was filed in March 2019 the Trump Organization owed him approximately $1.9 million for the cost regarding his defense.
The judge said in his ruling after the lawsuit was filed, the company did pay some of the bills.
“In a nutshell, Mr. Cohen’s legal fees arise out of his (sometimes unlawful) service to Mr. Trump personally, to Mr. Trump’s campaign, and to the Trump Foundation, but not out of his service to the business of the Trump Organization, which is the only defendant in this case,” the judge stated in the decision.
The AP report noted that Michael Cohen and the judge were not related.
In a statement, a Trump Organization spokesperson explained that “Today’s incredible victory for the Trump Organization puts an end to the frivolous litigation by convicted felon Michael Cohen.”
The spokesperson continued:
While the Southern District of New York already found that Mr. Cohen engaged in a ‘smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct…motivated by personal greed and ambition,’ Mr. Cohen attempted to invent a basis for requiring the Trump Organization to pay his legal fees for personal criminal conduct (including perjury). Mr. Cohen’s attempts at self-enrichment, however, once again failed. Having won this case, we now look forward to seeking monetary damages against Mr. Cohen for all of his despicable conduct.
In December 2018, a federal judge in New York sentenced Cohen to three years in prison for crimes including tax evasion, making hush-money payments, and lying to Congress about previous business dealings in Russia, Breitbart News reported at the time.