Former President Donald Trump and/or his supporters will have to foot the legal bill to defend the former president in the lawsuit filed by his former fixer, Michael Cohen.
In December, Cohen sued Trump and Bill Barr for violating his civil rights.
During the early phase of the coronavirus pandemic, officials allegedly told Cohen he could not serve his sentence with house arrest unless he signed a document promising he would not publish a tell-all book or speak to the press.
Cohen refused to sign the document waiving his First Amendment rights and was remanded to Otisville Correctional Facility.
After filing a habeas petition alleging he was being illegally detained, a judge ruled in his favor 15 days later.
"I make the finding that the purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from home confinement to jail is retaliatory, and it’s retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book," Senior U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said.
On Tuesday, Cohen attorney Andrew Laufer reported that the Department of Justice would not pay to defend Trump and Barr in the lawsuit, which will shift the legal defense costs from the government to the defendants.
I have just been notified that @TheJusticeDept is not representing Trump in my client @MichaelCohen212 lawsuit. @NYadvocateJKL— Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@Andrew C Laufer, Esq) 1648587924
The news comes against the backdrop of GOP political committees spending $2.3 million defending Trump, which some Republicans fear will hurt them in the midterms.
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