Home » Trump v. Cohen Is Another Lawsuit About The Plaintiff-In-Chief Weaponizing Civil Litigation

Trump v. Cohen Is Another Lawsuit About The Plaintiff-In-Chief Weaponizing Civil Litigation

by Cathy Brown
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On Wednesday former president Donald Trump sued his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen for more than $500 million in a federal courtroom in Miami. The civil lawsuit accuses Cohen of violating his attorney-client relationship by testifying as a key witness earlier than a Manhattan grand jury, revealing “confidences” and “spreading falsehoods” which resulted in Trump being charged on 34 felony counts of falsifying enterprise information.

Trying backwards from 2023 to 1973, Trump has been concerned in additional than 4.000 authorized battles. Not less than till the opposite day on the Manhattan Prison Courthouse in New York, when the previous president was criminally arraigned for the very first time and looking out so dejected and forlorn as he sat between his attorneys two flanked on both aspect, Trump had all the time liked to litigate as a lot as he likes to golf, to down his cans of Food regimen Coke and to devour quick meals.

Now that Trump is taking part in for such excessive stakes, between this primary indictment and those to return the place his liberty and freedom are in jeopardy, the enjoyment of litigation could have lastly misplaced a few of its luster.

Regardless of Trump’s bravado because the stress from his depositions, indictments and trials proceed to construct over the subsequent 24 months, it could not shock me to see the previous president have a whole “meltdown.”

In the meantime, Trump’s indefatigable ego and his inflated id are nonetheless very a lot in play. Thus, don’t search for Trump to give up to his adversaries with out a “struggle to the dying” and positively not with out submitting each frivolous movement in his attorneys’ arsenal to delay or to postpone each authorized continuing dogging him.

As James D. Zinn in his examination of Trump’s prolonged litigation historical past previous to his turning into the forty fifth POTUS, Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits, has revealed concerning the “character and morality” of Trump:

“If you happen to companion with Donald Trump, you’ll most likely wind-up litigating with him. If you happen to enroll in his college or purchase one in all his flats, chances are high you want your a refund. If you’re a girl and also you get too near him, you might want to observe your again. If you happen to attempt to sue him, he’s more likely to defame you. If you happen to make a cope with him, you had higher get it in writing. If you’re a lawyer, an architect, and even his dentist, you’d higher receives a commission up entrance. If you happen to enterprise an opinion that publicly criticizes him, you might be sued for libel.”

Trump has realized that in the case of litigation, it’s higher to be a plaintiff than to be a defendant. His ratio of being the plaintiff in comparison with being the defendant is about 60% to 40%. Many of those lawsuits on each side have been dismissed by judges, and others appeared to be unresolved in keeping with public information. All in all, Trump’s win-loss report earlier than turning into president was a powerful one. In accordance with Zinn, he had gained 451 occasions and misplaced 38 occasions.

One of many issues that Trump has all the time liked most about litigation is his skill to make use of the courts and the rule of regulation as a cudgel towards his enemies.

Zinn contends that Trump’s “political worldview was molded within the courtroom. He sees regulation not as a system of guidelines to be obeyed and moral beliefs to be revered, however as a weapon for use towards his adversaries or a hurdle to be sidestepped when it will get in the way in which.”

Within the case of weaponization, Trump’s lawsuit towards Cohen alleges that his “most egregious breaches of fiduciary responsibility and contract” occurred in connection along with his tell-all books, Disloyal (2020) and Revenge (2022), along with these claims that Cohen has made on his podcast, “Mea Culpa.”

Lanny Davis, Cohen’s lawyer, labeled the lawsuit as “frivolous” and from a press release he launched and reported on by Kevin Breuninger for CNBC: “Mr. Trump seems as soon as once more to be utilizing and abusing the judicial system as a type of harassment and intimidation,” suggesting that Trump is “terrified by his looming authorized perils and is trying to ship a message to different potential witnesses who’re cooperating with prosecutors towards him.”

On the subject of hurdling or sidestepping the regulation, Trump’s favourite tactic moreover countersuing has all the time been to lift frivolous movement after frivolous movement for no different functions than to put on down his opponents, to deflect from the deserves of the instances and to delay for so long as potential the trials from materializing.

For instance, Reuters reported that on April 12, 2023, in a letter to U.S. District Choose Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan, Trump by means of his legal professionals blamed the media for why they’re searching for to delay the defamation trial scheduled to start later this month on April 25 between journal columnist E. Jean Carroll, plaintiff and Donald J. Trump, defendant — who allegedly raped her in an upscale Manhattan dressing room greater than 20 years in the past.

To ensure the previous president’s proper to a good trial, his legal professionals requested for a four-week “cooling off” interval. Their letter claimed that absent a delay, “many, if not most, potential jurors could have the prison allegations prime of thoughts when judging President Trump’s protection towards Ms. Carroll’s allegation” due to “the breathless protection” of his alleged “extra-marital affair with Stormy Daniels nonetheless ringing of their ears.”

Nonetheless, the one frequent denominator about alleged unfavorable media protection, whether or not it has to do with the 2 Manhattan lawsuits, the try to illegally overturn an election in Fulton county, Georgia, or the try to steal top-secret categorized paperwork and the investigations into these, is that the leaking and media protection surrounding these instances has not often been created by Trump’s adversaries.

Quite the opposite, it’s Trump and his minions who intentionally create the hubbub in order that they could manipulate false or pretend narratives about these crimes within the courtrooms of public opinion.

Gregg Barak is an emeritus professor of criminology and prison justice at Japanese Michigan College, co-founder of the Journal of White Collar and Company Crime, and the creator of Criminology on Trump (2022) who’s writing the sequel, Criminally Indicting a Former President: The Case of Donald Trump and the Lacking Battle for a New Democracy to be printed by the tip of the yr.

Picture supply: thecrimereport.org

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