President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney sued the Trump Organization in New York state court on Thursday, demanding that the president’s companies pay his attorney fees for the Mueller probe and other investigations.
Michael Cohen claims in the lawsuit that he had signed a contract with the Trump Organization that obligated the company to pay his legal expenses via an indemnification agreement.
He alleges that after paying out some $1.7 million, the Trump Organization stopped reimbursing him in June 2018.
“The Trump Organization continued to represent to Mr. Cohen, at least through June 2018, that it would continue to indemnify Mr. Cohen and pay his attorneys’ fees and costs in connection with the Investigations,” the complaint reads.
Cohen alleged that he has incurred nearly $2 million in additional legal fees that remain unreimbursed.
Cohen hired Stephen Ryan from McDermott Will & Emery to represent him in May 2017.
The Trump Organization signed the indemnification agreement with Cohen in July of the same year, the complaint reads, agreeing to pay his attorneys’ fees and legal costs in connection with mounting investigations into Trumpworld.
At the time, the document says, Cohen and the Trump Org were “proceeding pursuant to a ‘joint defense'” related to the investigations.
He goes on to allege that the Trump Org and McDermott “worked collaboratively” to fund Cohen’s defense. According to the filing, the Trump Org promised in October 2017 that the Trump Campaign would split the legal costs with the Trump campaign.
As the investigations heated up in fall 2017, the Trump Org allegedly started to fall behind in paying McDermott. By December of that year, the Trump Org allegedly “confirmed that it would continue” to cover Cohen’s expenses.
“This affirmation followed a direct appeal to Trump Organization executives Donald Trump, Jr. and Eric Trump by Mr. Cohen regarding the Organization’s repeated delays in paying his attorneys’ fees and expenses,” the filing reads.
Around $1.7 million in Cohen’s costs were allegedly covered by the Trump Org in various ways, the filing states. That allegedly included money from the Trump Campaign and credits from McDermott.
By June 2018, Cohen says that he “began telling friends and family that he was willing to cooperate with the Special Counsel and federal prosecutors.” The same month, the lawsuit reads, the Trump Org stopped paying.
“As a result of the Trump Organization’s wrongful refusal to pay McDermott’s invoices under the indemnification agreement, McDermott ultimately withdrew from its representation of Mr. Cohen,” Cohen alleges, while also claiming that the Trump Org continues to owe McDermott $1 million in legal fees relating to its representation of him.
The complaint states that Cohen sent the Trump Organization a letter on Jan. 25, asking for reimbursement. The company allegedly failed to reply.
Read the lawsuit here: