Michael Cohen’s Retaliation Claim Against Trump Denied In Appeal

A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected Michael Cohen’s bid to resurrect his lawsuit against former President Trump, where he alleged he was imprisoned in retaliation for his tell-all book. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan affirmed the lower-court judge’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit, stating that the law didn’t appear to offer a damages remedy for claims of imprisonment in response to criticisms of a president.

On Tuesday, the appeals court ruled that Cohen had already secured relief by persuading a judge to release him from incarceration to home confinement a few weeks after being imprisoned. This occurred when the government alleged he had violated strict limits on his public communications.

The court stated that the law did not offer a pathway for additional relief beyond what had already been granted. Cohen had completed over a year of his three-year prison sentence after admitting guilt in 2018 to tax evasion, campaign finance violations, and providing false statements to Congress. Despite this, Cohen intends to take the challenge to the Supreme Court.

Cohen made a statement to Fox News saying, “The outcome is wrong if democracy is to prevail. A writ of habeas corpus cannot be the only consequence to stop a rogue president from weaponizing the Department of Justice from locking up his/her critics in prison because they refuse to waive their First Amendment right. We will be filing a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court.”

Cohen’s lawyer, Jon-Michael Doherty of Gilbert LLP, announced on Tuesday that they intend to pursue the legal battle all the way to the Supreme Court.

He said, “While we are, of course, disappointed in the Second Circuit’s ruling, our consistent expectation has been that this novel issue involving the appropriate remedy against a rogue president who seeks to use the prisons to silence his personal critics would need to be addressed by the United States Supreme Court. In America, an adequate remedy against this sort of abuse of power must deter future misconduct by federal officials.”

Cohen initiated the original lawsuit in 2020. Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, expressed satisfaction with the current ruling, saying she was “very pleased.”