Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, recently accused the former president of witness intimidation as Cohen attempted to have a judge dismiss a lawsuit that Trump filed against him.
On Tuesday, lawyers for Cohen filed a motion in court saying that Trump’s lawsuit against him “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.”
The motion by Cohen’s legal team comes shortly after Trump filed a lawsuit against him claiming that the former lawyer broke his contract by making public statements about the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into the former president’s alleged hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump still denies any wrongdoing in the case.
The lawsuit filed by Trump claimed that Cohen publicly spoke about confidential information related to Trump, which eventually led to his indictment by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
“During one such appearance, for example, [Cohen] discussed that he testified in front of the Manhattan District Attorney’s grand jury, and suggested that [Trump] was, by virtue of [Cohen’s] knowledge of confidential information, criminally exposed,” the lawsuit filed by Trump said, according to CNN.
The lawsuit reportedly added that Cohen “chose to capitalize on his confidential relationship with [Trump] to pursue financial gain and repair a reputation shattered by his repeated misrepresentations and deceptive acts, fueled by his animus toward the [Trump] and his family members.”
In a statement obtained by CNN shortly after the lawsuit was filed, Cohen’s legal team said, “Mr. Trump is once again using and abusing the judicial system as a form of harassment and intimidation against Michael Cohen…Mr. Cohen will not be deterred and is confident that the suit will fail based on the facts and the law.”
However, Cohen’s response on Tuesday said that Trump’s lawsuit alleges Cohen’s statements were false and that Trump’s complaint is witness intimidation.
“The Complaint, frivolous and scattershot, is an abusive act of pure retaliation and witness intimidation, albeit a ham-fisted one. It must be dismissed as a matter of law,” the motion said. “Mr. Trump does not expressly include a claim for defamation in his Complaint, although at least one of his causes of action is a defamation claim disguised under the label of another tort. In any event, the five causes of action he does bring are just as baseless as a defamation claim would be. Each one should be dismissed as a matter of law under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure.”
“Mr. Trump’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty should be dismissed. As a preliminary matter, most of the allegations concern statements and events that occurred more than one year ago and are therefore barred by the applicable statute of limitations,” the motion added.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s spokesperson via email for comment.