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Trump Sues Michael Cohen for $500 Million

Speaking of old dogs and new tricks, when Donald Trump is displeased with someone, his first instinct is to sue them. At the very least, he hopes this will cause them to suffer a big financial loss due to endless legal fees. Trump is very displeased with his former fixer, Michael Cohen, so yesterday he sued Cohen for an unspecified amount, but said it would exceed $500 million. He claims Cohen breached the terms of his NDA and lied about Trump to various legal authorities, including Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg. Trump also claims that Cohen lied about him in his various books and on his podcast. However, when an NDA is used to cover up a crime, it may not be enforceable at the very least.

The legal term for this sort of lawsuit is "witness tampering." The suit was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida. Apparently Trump thinks it will scare Cohen into refusing to testify against him in the case Bragg brought against him and possibly in other related cases. That ship has already sailed, though.

Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said: "Mr. Trump appears once again to be using and abusing the judicial system as a form of harassment and intimidation against Michael Cohen."

This is typical of Trump: punching down. He has more money than Cohen and can afford to spend a few million on lawyers if he has to, in order to take this case as far as he can. The people he really hates are Bragg, Fulton County DA Fani Willis, and Special Counsel Jack Smith, but he can't do anything about them, so is hitting someone weaker than he is.

It is entirely possible that a judge will take one look at this and issue a summary judgment against Trump since, again, it looks an awful lot like witness tampering. If the case is tossed, then Cohen can sue Trump for damages, but that case could drag on for years. This is a clear case where the European rules are better than the U.S. rules. Generally, in Europe the loser of a civil case has to pay the winner's expenses. That greatly reduces frivolous lawsuits like this. Yes, you can sue anyone, but if it a garbage case, you will end up paying the defendant's lawyers.

There is also at least the possibility that Bragg convenes a grand jury for the purpose of indicting Trump for witness tampering. That is a crime in New York State, but it is Bragg's call, of course. (V)

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