Michael Cohen, opening statement
Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, delivers his opening statement before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on February 27, 2019. Photo credit: C-SPAN / YouTube

Donald Trump is learning the hard way that his strategy of using the courts to his advantage does not work against the federal or state governments... or against his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

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Just days before his scheduled deposition, Donald Trump abandoned a $500 million lawsuit against his former lawyer Michael Cohen.

The move spares the former president from having to testify under oath in the case on Monday.

None of this is surprising at all.

Known for excessively lying and making unsubstantiated boasts, Trump could place himself in additional legal peril by being questioned under oath. Any lawyers representing him know that they should try to avoid putting him on the witness stand or allowing him to be deposed.

Therefore, the one-sentence filing in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, in which the former president’s attorneys ask for a dismissal of the case, makes perfect sense.

It is also consistent with Trump’s long history of legal bullying. In the past, there have been many cases in which he has threatened litigation or brought lawsuits against his adversaries to get them to do what he wants.

In many cases, that worked when these opponents did not have the means to fight back or stood little to gain from doing so.

However, as Trump is finding out now, that tactic doesn’t work when he is up against the federal or state governments — in the four cases in which he faces criminal charges — or when his opponent is his former personal lawyer who is well aware of how the former president operates.

“As I have said from the beginning: this case was nothing more than a retaliatory intimidation tactic, and his attempt to hide from routine discovery confirms as much,” said Cohen in a statement. “Mr. Trump’s cowardly dismissal spells the end of his latest attempt to deter me from providing truthful testimony against him.”

Trump’s Sticker Shock

Cohen also indicated that he would not simply let the matter rest just because the former president asked for the dismissal of the case.

“My legal team and I now look forward to turning our full attention to holding Mr. Trump accountable for his latest abuse of the legal system,” Cohen stated. “More to come.”

In the past weeks, it has become apparent that the abuses of the legal system his former lawyer referenced are no longer working for Trump.

There really is a sense now that the walls are closing in on him.

Criminal indictments, mugshots, a judge ruling that he committed fraud and then issuing a gag order in the case, a jury finding him liable for sexual abuse… Now Trump is the one drowning in legal expenses, which for now are being paid by his gullible supporters. But eventually, that money will run out.

All of these examples show that Trump’s previous strategies for using the courts to his advantage are no longer working.

In fact, the opposite seems to be true: Finally, after decades of skirting consequences, the storm clouds of accountability are appearing on the horizon.

For all of those who worry about his lawlessness in the past and what he might do if he returns to power, they are a welcome sight.


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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