OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Famed Attorney Alan Dershowitz is praising former President Donald Trump for his legal maneuver this week in his battle with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
During a panel discussion Wednesday night on Fox News, host Sean Hannity, Greg Jarrett, and Dershowitz discussed Trump filing a $500 million lawsuit against Michael Cohen, his former personal lawyer.
Cohen testified before the Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump on 34 criminal charges of falsifying business records related to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump sent a payment to Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, allegedly to keep Daniels quiet about an affair the two of them had in 2006. Trump pleaded not guilty to all 34 charges.
The panel praised Trump for suing Cohen, calling it a “legitimate move” and one that should have been done.
Below is a transcript of the exchange on Fox News:
HANNITY: “All right, let me ask you this. First of all, let’s talk about the lawsuit Donald Trump has filed against Michael Cohen.”
DERSHOWITZ: “Good move. Good move. First of all, lawyers should not be violating lawyer-client privilege, number one. Number two, he gets a discovery, if he survives a motion to dismiss, and he is going to be able to find out things the government wouldn’t turn over to him in a criminal trial. So I think it’s a very smart move to go after Trump.”
HANNITY: “Are you assuming he has preserved all this information, and isn’t it likely that a lot of it doesn’t exist?”
DERSHOWITZ: “Well, you know, it’s very hard these days to hide things forever. With the internet, with social media, if you get the right people you can get things that people think they have hidden. So, I’m glad we are going to get to the bottom of this. Look, transparency is essential. If people have nothing to hide, they shouldn’t be worried.”
HANNITY: “Let’s bring in Gregg Jarrett. Gregg, your take on Trump’s suit against Michael Cohen?”
JARRETT: “Well, it’s a legitimate suit, it’s actionable in a court of law. It centers around the many lies of Michael Cohen. This is a guy who lied to the IRS, lied to U.S. banks, lied to Congress and went to prison for it. And Trump claims in his lawsuit he too is a victim, causing reputational damage. But on top of that, what jumped out at me in the lawsuit is that it claims that Cohen committed theft, an unjust enrichment by defrauding Trump over a phony business venture and pocketed an exorbitant amount of money over something that did not exist. On top of that, there’s also breach of fiduciary duty, which is pretty darn clear with Cohen, and breach of contract. You know, it’s bad enough that prosecutors called him a greedy liar and the judge who sentenced him said he committed a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent crimes and deceit. Can you imagine a district attorney using a guy like that as his star witness? The problem with inveterate liars is you never know when you are getting scammed and it’s hard to tell the jury, ‘Believe this guy.’ He’s told so many lies, you would need a calculator to keep track of it.”
Trump alleges in his lawsuit that Cohen violated attorney-client privilege by sharing confidential information and spreading lies about him “with malicious intent and to wholly self-serving ends.”
“Plaintiff has suffered vast reputational harm as a direct result of Defendant’s breaches,” the lawsuit states, which was filed by Trump attorney Alejandro Brito in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
“Defendant derived a significant benefit, to Plaintiff’s detriment and at Plaintiff’s expense, as a direct result of his breach of fiduciary duty, including, without limitation, realization of substantial monetary gain in the form of compensation, advances, royalties, proceeds and/or profits received for his role in the writing, publication, promotion, and/or sale of the Books,” the lawsuit stated.
Trump is asking for over $500 million in “actual, compensatory, incidental, and punitive damages” from Cohen and any profits that he made from his podcast and books.