Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Michael Cohen returns to witness stand as decision on Trump testimony in hush money trial looms

By 37ci3 May20,2024

Michael Cohen will return to the witness stand in a New York courtroom for a third day of cross-examination by Donald Trump’s lawyers, possibly the last day of first testimony. Criminal of the former president.

There may be a possibility to extend the trial period Trumpof plugEng stand in his own defense. Trump said before the trial thatabsolutely” testify. He has since softened that stance, and his attorney, Todd Blanche, told the judge in court last Thursday that he did not yet know whether Trump would take the stand. Court was not in session Friday, so Trump went to his son. high school graduate.

Blanche questioned Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, throughout Thursday and Tuesday, pressing him about inconsistencies in some of his past claims about Trump and the lies he has admitted on Trump’s behalf over the years.

“So lie!” Blanche barked at Cohen at one point after she challenged him for talking to Trump on the phone at some point about the nondisclosure agreement he had with the adult film actor. Stormy Daniels A few weeks before the 2016 election.

Cohen previously testified that he contacted Trump via bodyguard Keith Schiller at 8:02 p.m. on October 24, 2016, to “discuss the Stormy Daniels matter and its resolution.”

Blanche confronted Cohen with a 7:48 a.m. text message to Schiller: “Who can I talk to about the phone calls to my cell and office, the narco forgot to block one of them.” Schiller responded by texting “call me” at 8:02 a.m., which Cohen promptly did.

The call lasted 96 seconds, Blanch said, and at 8:04 p.m., Cohen texted Schiller the phone number of a 14-year-old boy and prank called him. Blanche suggested that the real purpose of the conversation was to talk about the teenager.

“You were actually talking to Mr. Schiller about receiving abusive phone calls from a 14-year-old boy, correct?” Blanche asked.

“Part of it was the 14-year-old, but I know that Keith was with Mr. Trump at the time and potentially more than that. That’s what I remember from the documents that I looked at,” Cohen responded. adding that he believed he was “telling the truth” about the timing.

“We don’t ask for your faith. This jury doesn’t want to hear what happened to you,” Blanche said.

57-year-old Cohen A the key witness In Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump, and the only person directly linking Trump to the falsified business records scheme.

Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 and signed a non-disclosure agreement barring him from speaking about his alleged secret. Sex with Trump ten years ago after they met at a famous golf tournament. Trump denies his claim.

Cohen said Trump authorized the deal and was confident he would pay it back.

Prosecutors say Trump did this in a series of payments falsely recorded as legal expenses to hide the real reason. He was charged with falsifying 34 job documents and pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors told jurors on direct examination that Cohen had a history of lying in public, and they took statements from him about 2018. guilty pleas various criminal charges, including some related to the Daniels payment and lying to Congress. Cohen said his then boss lied to protect Trump.

Cohen began testifying last week, and by the end of the day Thursday, he had been on the witness stand for more than 14 hours.

Blanche estimated Thursday that she had two hours of questioning for Cohen, who prosecutors said was his last witness. Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger is then expected to ask her questions on direct examination again, which will be followed by more questions from Blanche.

It’s unclear how many, if any, witnesses Trump’s lawyers will call. Blanche suggested she could call Bradley A. Smith, the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, to testify about the election laws, but he said she couldn’t. He said he could call other witnesses he did not know in open court. He said that if the witnesses testify, their testimony will be short.

Prosecutors have said that if the defense calls Smith, they may call a witness to rebut his testimony. Their expert will also be short, they said.

The state judge presiding over the case, Juan Merchan, told both sides they should be ready to deliver closing arguments on Tuesday. The schedule is a bit hazy from this point on – the jury won’t be in session on Wednesday due to a scheduling issue, and the alternate jurors have until 1pm on Thursday due to a scheduling issue. Merchan said there will be no trial Friday or next Monday, which is Memorial Day.

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By 37ci3

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