Sun. May 19th, 2024

Michael Cohen set to take the stand in Trump’s hush money trial

By 37ci3 May13,2024



Michael Cohen – The most important witness in the Manhattan District Attorney’s hush money lawsuit Donald Trump — will take the stand Monday for what is expected to be at least two days of testimony in the former U.S. president’s first criminal trial against his former boss.

In the witness box, Cohen will sit a few feet away from Trump, whom he has repeatedly mocked on social media and in interviews, including since the trial began.

Veteran prosecutor Susan Hoffinger, who has been preparing Cohen for his testimony for nearly a year, will cross-examine him. He will be cross-examined by Trump’s attorney general, Todd Blanch.

It’s been a long road for Cohen to get to this point. He has spoken sporadically with prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office over the past five years, and DA’s office investigators even visited him three times in 2019 and 2020 while he was in federal prison in Otisville, New York.

His testimony is crucial for the prosecution. Cohen, who once worked as Trump’s self-styled “cleaner”, paid the adult movie star $130,000. Stormy Daniels In the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign, she did not go public with allegations that she had sex with Trump in 2006. He said that he had made the payment earlier direction Trump’s.

Trump returned several payments to Cohen in 2017, during the first months of his presidency. Prosecutors accuse Trump of falsifying business records related to those payments, classifying them as legal services under the retainer agreement; The DA says there is no such agreement.

“Cohen was not paid for legal services. The defendant was paying Stormy Daniels for an illegal payment on the eve of the election,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo said in his opening statement.

Daniels testified in court last week.

Blanche said in her opening statement that Cohen was indeed paid for his legal services and “cannot be trusted.”

“You will learn that Mr. Cohen misrepresented the conversations in which the only witness to the conversation was Mr. Cohen and supposedly President Trump,” Blanche said.

“He is a convicted felon. He is also a perjurer. He’s an admitted liar,” Blanche added, referring to Cohen’s 2018 guilty plea. Making false statements to Congress About the proposed project to build Trump Tower in Moscow. Prosecutors said he lied to minimize Trump’s ties to Russia, which were being scrutinized by Congress and federal investigators at the time.

Cohen also pleaded guilty to several other criminal charges, including tax fraud, a crime that a federal judge called a “veritable smorgasbord” of criminal conduct. was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in prison.

Blanche also told the jury that Cohen was “real” to Trump and blamed him for “pretty much all of his problems.”

Cohen has repeatedly taunted Trump on social media and in interviews, including since the trial began, warning the presiding judge that Cohen could be removed from the dock. order This prevents Trump from attacking witnesses, if he continues.

In court Friday, Blanch asked Judge Juan Mercant to issue a separate gag order on Cohen for the rest of the trial, noting that despite his public assurances that he would stop insulting Trump, Cohen recently wore a T-shirt behind bars with Trump. Orange jumpsuit during a TikTok stream.

Merchan did not comply with the request for a gag order, but he ordered prosecutors to “notify Mr. Cohen that the judge has asked him to refrain from making any statements about this case, Mr. Trump, or anything related to this case. process.”

Trump has repeatedly blasted Cohen to reporters and social media since 2018, when his former lawyer began cooperating with authorities against him. These comments and posts – in violation of the traffic rule – caused thousands of dollars Court fines against Trump.

Trump has watched Cohen testify against him before. Last year, Cohen was a key witness for the New York Attorney General’s Office during the civil fraud trial against Trump and his company. Trump in an instant spun During Cohen’s testimony.

Cohen’s testimony this week comes as the hush-hush lawsuit nears the finish line. Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the judge Friday that the DA has only two witnesses left and said the prosecution will rest until the end of this week.

The trial will be cut short this week – the court is not in session on Wednesday and there will be no action on Friday so Trump can attend. His sons high school graduate.

It is not clear Will Trump testify? in his own defense. He has no obligation to do so.



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By 37ci3

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