Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Michael Cohen returns to witness stand in Trump hush money trial

By 37ci3 May14,2024

Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen will return to the witness stand Tuesday for testimony expected to probe payments he says he received. former president For the hush money paid to adult film actor Stormi Daniels in the final days of the 2016 campaign.

Prosecutors claim Trump falsified business records according to the retention agreement, they are classified as legal services and attributed to those payments. Cohen testified Monday that no such custody agreement exists in New York.

Cohen a key witness In Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump. He told jurors in his first full day on the stand that Trump authorized a $130,000 payment directly to Daniels and was involved in efforts to quash two other disparaging stories that Trump feared could damage his candidacy.

“I was following his instructions,” Cohen said.

Cohen is the only witness to directly tie Trump to the falsified business records scheme, and Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche is expected to try to frame him as a serial liar when he begins cross-examining him on Tuesday.

Cohen “cannot be trusted,” Blanche told jurors in her opening statement.

“He is a convicted felon. He is also a perjurer. He’s an admitted liar,” Blanche said, referring in part 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 Congress and federal investigators were investigating at the time.

Cohen also pleaded guilty to several other criminal charges, including tax fraud. was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in prison.

A number of prominent GOP elected officials traveled to New York to show solidarity with the former president during the trial. House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., will appear in court in Manhattan, a source familiar with Johnson’s schedule confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday morning. Johnson recently survived a speaker threat from Trump ally Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., whom the former president fended off by publicly opposing her efforts and ultimately failed.

In addition, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum have both campaigned against Trump. GOP primary, will appear in court with the former president, Trump’s senior adviser Jason Miller said. Sens. JD Vance, R-Ohio, and Tim Scott, R-C, appeared in court with Trump on Monday. Ramaswamy, Burgum, Vance and Scott are considered potential vice-presidential candidates For Trump.

Another potential candidate, Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds and Rep. Corey Mills, will also appear in court on Tuesday.

On Monday, Cohen testified that Daniels’ 2006 allegations that she had sex with Trump were extremely problematic because he began buying her story after the Trump campaign was already scandal-ridden — the release of a 2005 Access Hollywood tape involving Trump. . he is heard saying he can prey on women without their consent.

Asked how Daniels’ story might affect Trump’s campaign at the time, Cohen replied, “Disastrous.”

Trump has denied having sex with Daniels, who testified in great detail about his account last week.

Cohen, who began working for Trump in 2007, said he received money to pay Daniels through a shell company and was confident Trump would pay him back.

Cohen said the details of the payment were arranged by Allen Weisselberg, who was then the chief financial officer of Trump’s company, the Trump Organization. The agreement required Cohen to repay $130,000 he had previously earmarked for Trump, plus another $50,000. The money, which included a $60,000 bonus, was later paid in monthly installments of $35,000, which was earmarked for legal services provided under the retainer agreement.

Cohen testified that there was no retainer agreement and that Trump approved the agreement in a meeting with him and Weisselberg.

It is not clear whether TrumpThe only other person who can directly refute Cohen’s claims will testify.

Weisselberg will not testify – he is in prison after pleading guilty to perjury in connection with last year’s testimony civil fraud case Against Trump and company.

Trump is charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records and has he pleaded not guilty.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Trump had a number of prominent supporters in court Monday, including Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y.

One of Trump’s former opponents in the GOP primaries, Vivek Ramaswamy, is expected to appear in court with him on Tuesday, a source familiar with the plan said.

Prosecutors said in court Friday that they expect to wrap up their case this week.

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By 37ci3

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