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Trump drops $500 million lawsuit against former attorney Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen on "GMA" on Friday, March 17, 2023 — (ABC/Paula Lobo)

(NEW YORK) — Former President Donald Trump has dropped a $500 million lawsuit he had filed against his former attorney Michael Cohen that alleged Cohen breached his fiduciary duty to keep Trump’s confidences.

Trump had been scheduled to sit for a deposition in the case, but delayed it until next week because, he told the judge, he would be attending his civil fraud trial in New York.

Trump announced he was dismissing the suit in a one-page court filing Thursday.

The lawsuit had taken aim at Cohen’s book, his podcast and other statements he had made that were critical of Trump and that described the unraveling of a long relationship.

“Defendant chose to capitalize on his confidential relationship with Plaintiff to pursue financial gain,” the suit said. “His actions constitute grave violations of his contractual and fiduciary duties to the Plaintiff, and Defendant must be held accountable.”

Cohen, responding to Trump’s dropping the suit, said in a statement Thursday, “This case was nothing more than a retaliatory intimidation tactic, and his attempt to hide from routine discovery procedures confirms as much.”

Trump filed the suit last April, a week after the former president pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, which involved reimbursements to Cohen for hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels in the closing weeks of the 2016 campaign.

Cohen had told ABC’s Good Morning America in March that he would be willing to testify should Trump be charged in the case.

“The facts are the facts. The truth is the truth and the truth will always rise so I’m not worried about anything that they want to come at me with,” he said.

Cohen previously served prison time after he pleaded guilty to federal charges that included campaign finance violations related to the hush payment. He was sentenced to three years but received early release in November 2021.

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