Donald Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, is seeking the dismissal of a $500 million lawsuit by the former president that accuses Cohen of breach of fiduciary duty.
In a new court filing, Cohen said Trump failed to state a claim.
"This suit combines the worst of Mr. Trump's vindictive impulses," Cohen's attorneys, Benjamin Brodsky and Danya Perry, said in the motion to dismiss. "The Complaint, frivolous and scattershot, is an abusive act of pure retaliation and witness intimidation, albeit a ham-fisted one."
Trump filed his lawsuit in a Florida federal court last month, accusing Cohen of "an onslaught of fiduciary and contractual breaches" through numerous "inflammatory and false statements" about Trump in books, in his podcast and in media appearances.
Cohen's attorneys noted that the timing of the lawsuit coincided with Trump's indictment on criminal charges that was based, in large part, on grand jury testimony by Cohen.
"This timing is no coincidence," Cohen's motion said. "The [Manhattan DA's] indictment relates to the hush money payment scheme between Mr. Trump, Mr. Cohen, and others to influence the 2016 presidential election by paying off an adult film star so that she would not publicize her affair with Mr. Trump. This is the same scheme to which Mr. Cohen had pleaded guilty, and Mr. Trump is well aware that Mr. Cohen is an important government witness against him in the pending criminal matter."
"The Complaint in this case is yet another brazen and indeed unlawful attempt to silence a key witness against Mr. Trump. And, once again, Mr. Trump's campaign of retaliation should be shut down," Cohen's attorneys said.