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Trump moves to "temporarily" dismiss $500 million lawsuit against Michael Cohen

Questions remain about Trump indictment
With Trump now under indictment, Michael Cohen may have played a key role in NYC investigation 05:51

Former President Donald Trump moved Thursday to dismiss his $500 million lawsuit against his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, without prejudice, which allows him to refile the suit again in the future. 

Trump's campaign issued a statement to CBS News, claiming that the civil and criminal battles he's waging, along with his 2024 presidential campaign, are currently occupying too much of his time to pursue the lawsuit at this time.

"Given that President Trump is required to sit for deposition in a civil matter on Columbus Day, when he is scheduled to be in the Great State of New Hampshire, and while the President is fighting against the meritless claims that have been lodged against him in New York, Washington D.C., Florida, and Georgia, as well as continuing his winning campaign, where he is leading the Republicans by 60 points and Crooked Joe Biden by 11 points, to serve as our next President of the United States, President Trump has decided to temporarily pause his meritorious claims against Michael Cohen," his campaign said in a statement. 

The former president was scheduled to be deposed by Cohen's attorneys Tuesday, but it was postponed so that Trump could attend the opening days of the trial in the New York fraud case brought by state Attorney General Letitia James. The deposition was rescheduled for this weekend.

In a statement to CBS News, Cohen called the lawsuit "nothing more than a retaliatory intimidation tactic, and his attempt to hide from routine discovery procedures confirms as much." 

"Mr. Trump's cowardly dismissal spells the end of this latest attempt to deter me from providing truthful testimony against him," said Cohen, who is a key witness in a Manhattan criminal case in which Trump has entered a not guilty plea to felony falsification of business records charges.

In April, Trump filed a lawsuit in federal court in Florida claiming Cohen had breached his "fiduciary duty" and violated his attorney-client privileges in order to be "unjustly enriched." It followed the former president's indictment in New York on charges that he allegedly falsified business records to conceal three payments, including one arranged by Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

His campaign suggested that he intends to refile at a later date. 

"Once President Trump has prevailed in dealing with the witch hunts against him, he will continue to pursue his claims against Michael Cohen, who rightfully deserves to, and will be held accountable for his unlawful words and actions just as the Southern District of New York held him accountable for numerous non-Trump related acts and crimes, making Cohen a very 'proud' felon," the statement said.

When Trump filed the lawsuit, Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said, "It appears he is terrified by his looming legal perils and is attempting to send a message to other potential witnesses who are cooperating with prosecutors against him."

Cohen was Trump's lawyer and "fixer," before the two had a very public falling out. Cohen's testimony helped build the $250 million civil fraud case James brought against Trump. Trump appeared in court this week for the trial. Trump has denied any wrongdoing. 

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