A New York judge on Nov. 12 dismissed a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, while a second suit against him was dropped by the woman who filed it.
Judge Joel Cohen tossed a suit filed by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen that had sought nearly $2 million to cover legal expenses. Cohen claimed Trump initially promised to cover the expenses but reneged.
A written agreement between Cohen and the Trump Organization, which Cohen cited, explicitly contains a “no oral modification” clause, undercutting Cohen’s claims that an oral agreement differed from the written one, the judge ruled.
Also, Cohen failed to prove that he became involved with investigations by former special counsel Robert Mueller and Congress, from which some of the expenses allegedly arose, due to his position at the organization, the judge said.
Cohen pleaded guilty to several charges, including tax evasion, and was sentenced to three years in prison in late 2018.
A Trump Organization spokesperson told news outlets that 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,” the spokesperson said.
Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, called the decision “unfair” and urged people to donate money to his client’s legal fund.
The other suit was dropped by Summer Zervos, a former “Apprentice” contestant who had accused the former president of groping her and sued him for defamation when he denied the allegations.
The parties jointly decided to stop the case, according to a court filing. A lawyer for Trump agreed not to pursue counterclaims against Zervos.
“Today the parties have ended Zervos v. Trump. After five years, Ms. Zervos no longer wishes to litigate against the defendant and has secured the right to speak freely about her experience. Ms. Zervos stands by the allegations in her complaint and has accepted no compensation,” lawyers for Zervos said in a statement.
Trump said in a statement that the accusations were false and no money was paid out.
“The Fake News Media totally and completely distorted the facts—they are corrupt. President Trump has been totally vindicated,” he said, adding later: “It is so sad when things like this can happen, but so incredibly important to fight for the truth and justice. Only victory can restore one’s reputation!”