Michael Cohen sued the Trump Organization in New York Supreme Court on Thursday for millions of dollars in legal fees and costs, claiming the company must pay him for “matters arising” from his work for the company -- including “multiple congressional hearings” and costs related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Cohen, who is slated to report to prison to serve three years in May, worked for the organization for more than a decade as an attorney. In his suit, he claimed the company violated an agreement that it would compensate him for his work related to the organization and its officers.
“As is common practice in most corporations, the Trump Organization agreed to indemnify me for legal fees and costs incurred in connection with my employment there. When it was publicly reported that I might be cooperating with prosecutors, the Trump Organization breached its agreement and stopped paying fees and costs. My counsel contacted the Trump Organization and asked them to fulfill their obligations to me. They did not respond, so we filed this lawsuit and will pursue it vigorously,” Cohen said in a statement.
“This action arises from the Trump Organization’s failure to meet its indemnification obligations under a contractual agreement between the Trump Organization and Mr. Cohen, pursuant to which the Trump Organization agreed to indemnify Mr. Cohen and to pay attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by Mr. Cohen in connection with various matters arising from Mr. Cohen’s work with and on behalf of the Organization and its principals, directors, and officers,” Cohen’s attorneys wrote in a court filing Thursday. “These matters included multiple congressional hearings, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, and others.”
They added that Cohen has “incurred millions of dollars in unreimbursed attorneys’ fees and costs” in addition to other amounts, which he “continues to incur … in connection with various ongoing investigations and litigation.”
The lawsuit comes as Cohen, on the heels of his explosive testimony to Congress last week, prepares to report to prison for his sentence related to bank and tax fraud charges, campaign-finance violations and more.
Cohen’s attorneys claimed that the Trump Organization initially honored its agreement through at least May of 2018. According to the court filing, by Jan. 25, 2019, Cohen’s balance of unreimbursed attorneys’ fees and other costs incurred in connection with Cohen’s work “exceeded $1.9 million.” Cohen’s attorneys said he continues to accrue legal fees and costs.
Cohen’s suit comes as he also faces scrutiny over inconsistencies in his testimony before the House Oversight Committee last week. Republicans on the committee have accused Cohen of "perjury" for a number of allegedly inaccurate statements before the panel and have referred his testimony for a Justice Department review.
Cohen began working for the Trump Organization in 2006, and was Trump's self-described "fixer."
As of last week, Cohen was disbarred in New York.