Trump withdraws $500 million lawsuit against former lawyer Cohen

Former US President Donald Trump has withdrawn a $500 million lawsuit against his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen. Trump’s lawyer told a federal court in the state of Florida on Thursday (local time) that the civil lawsuit filed in April would be “voluntarily” withdrawn.

Cohen pointed out on the online service X (formerly Twitter) that the ex-president should have been questioned in the case in a few days. “As I said from the beginning: This case was nothing more than a retaliatory intimidation tactic,” said the lawyer, who has been a harsh Trump critic for years.

Trump sued his former lawyer in April, accusing him of violating his confidentiality and spreading false information about him. The 77-year-old Republican, who wants to run again in the 2024 presidential election, demanded $500 million (475 million euros) in damages.

Cohen is a key witness in the Stormy Daniels case, in which Trump was indicted in New York in the spring. The background is a hush money payment of $130,000 to the porn actress Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, before the 2016 presidential election. The then Trump confidant Cohen handed over the money and later got it refunded by Trump’s real estate holding company. In this context, the Manhattan district attorney’s office accuses Trump of falsifying business documents in 34 cases.

The indictment in New York was the first of four against Trump this year. Two other cases involve Trump’s attempts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The fourth indictment revolves around secret documents that the right-wing populist took to his Mar-a-Lago estate in the state of Florida at the end of his term in office in January 2021.