Michael Cohen on Monday asked a U.S. appeals court to revive his lawsuit against Donald Trump and other government officials, seeking damages for sending him back to prison in retaliation for publishing a tell-all memoir criticizing the former U.S. president.
Lawyers for Cohen said in a filing with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan that the judiciary has a responsibility to remediate the harm done by Trump and his subordinates.
Cohen is appealing U.S. District Judge Lewis Liman’s dismissal of his lawsuit in November.
Liman said that while his decision did “violence” to Cohen’s constitutional rights, Cohen was not entitled to damages under U.S. Supreme Court precedent.
Alina Habba, a lawyer for Trump, said the lower court was correct when it dismissed Cohen’s “meritless” case.
Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations and other crimes.
He was released in May 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but thrown back in prison two months later after questioning an agreement that barred the book’s publication, communicating with the media and social media.
Another judge ordered Cohen’s release 16 days later, finding he had been targeted with retaliation.
The book, “Disloyal: A Memoir” topped the New York Times’ hardcover nonfiction best-seller list in September 2020.
Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr and various prison officials are also defendants in Cohen’s lawsuit. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, which represented the other defendants, declined to comment.