Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Michael Cohen’s testimony likely caps the prosecution’s case in the Trump hush money trial

By 37ci3 May16,2024

Michael Cohen will return to the witness stand Thursday to face Donald Trump’s defense attorney in a Manhattan criminal trial. historical criminal case The fight against the former president is coming to an end.

Prosecutors said Judge Juan Merchan This week Cohen, Trump’s former private attorneyis their final witness in the often sensational trial that began on April 15.

This is the first criminal trial involving the former president, but Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanch, did not begin his trial. Cross-examination of Cohen highbrow fashion tuesday.

“After the trial in this case started, you went on TikTok and called me a ‘crying little s—‘, didn’t you?” – he asked.

“Sounds like something I’d say,” Cohen replied.

Blanche then peppered him with questions designed to show that Cohen had a documented history of lying and was strongly biased against his former boss. Blanche asked Cohen on the same April 23 TikTok that Trump belonged in a “cage like an animal.”

“I remember saying that,” Cohen said.

Cohen, 57, is a key witness in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump. It was Cohen who paid the mature movie actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about allegations she had sex with Trump a decade ago after they met at a celebrity golf tournament in the final days of the 2016 presidential election. Trump denies his claim.

Prosecutors say then-President Trump reimbursed Cohen in a series of payments falsely recorded as legal expenses to hide what they were actually for.

In testimony this week, Cohen said Trump told him to deal with Daniels’ allegations because he feared they would be a “total disaster” for his campaign. Cohen said Trump assured him he would pay him back and then told him to work out the details with Allen Weisselberg, then the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer.

When news of his payment to Daniels became public in 2018, Cohen said Trump encouraged him to take full responsibility for Cohen’s hush money deal.

Asked why he took these and other actions aimed at suppressing Trump’s scandalous stories during the 2016 election, Cohen said he did so “at the behest of Donald J. Trump” and “for his own benefit.”

Cohen is the only witness to directly tie Trump to the alleged fraudulent business records scheme.

In her opening statement, Blanche told jurors that Trump’s payments to Cohen were for legitimate business and that Cohen “cannot be trusted” because he lied and had an ax to grind against his former boss.

Cohen has admitted to lying in the past, including to CongressHe pleaded guilty in 2018 – but claims he was motivated by a strong desire to “protect Mr Trump”.

In court Tuesday, Blanche said he expected the ongoing cross-examination to take most, if not all, of Thursday. The defense’s cross-examination of Cohen on Thursday will focus on his previous sworn testimony and his repeated lies about incidents in 2016 and 2017, according to a source with direct knowledge of what to expect on cross-examination.

Court not in session Friday to attend Trump son’s high school graduation; so if Blanche’s guess is correct, Cohen will likely return to the stand Monday for additional questions from prosecutors, followed by additional questions from Blanche before the prosecution rests.

It is not yet clear whether Trump will file a defense claim. Blanche told the judge this week that she could offer some expert testimony if she had to. Court documents show that the expert is Bradley A. Smith, a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, who can testify about the FEC and its function, the laws the agency is responsible for enforcing, and job definitions and terms.

Another possible witness is Trump himself. Trump said this before the trial began he would testify “definitely”. case, but has since said he would do so if necessary. Blanche told the judge Tuesday that she did not know if her client would take the stand.

If he doesn’t, that will pave the way for closing arguments early next week.

There is Trump he pleaded not guilty 34 counts of falsifying business records. If found guilty, he faces up to 4 years in prison.

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By 37ci3

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