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At the Trump trial, his ex-lawyer turned sworn enemy admits to having lied for him

He was é the faithful lieutenant but he swore his loss: Donald Trump's ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, said Monday having lied and intimidated on behalf of the former President of the United States, in a tense face-to-face trial for concealed payments. a porn star.

After the crude account given last week by pornographic film star Stormy Daniels about a sexual relationship in 2006 with Donald Trump – which he denies – this testimony which began around 9:30 a.m. (1:30 p.m. GMT) is the other crucial moment of this historic trial with heavy political stakes.

At 77, the Republican candidate for the White House faces the first criminal conviction of a former president in the history of the United States.

The trial, which is disrupting his campaign by forcing him to silently follow hearings almost every day since mid-April in a New York court, has entered a decisive phase.

Called to the stand, Michael Cohen, 57, looking nervous, is questioned by a prosecutor to find out if he has ever “lied” and “intimidated” people, the witness answered clearly “yes” twice.

“This is what had to be done to accomplish the tasks”, said under oath l 'former lawyer.

Donald Trump remained impassive before slumping in his chair.

At the Trump trial, his ex-lawyer turned sworn enemy admits to having lied for him

Former United States President Donald Trump at Manhattan Criminal Court, New York, United States, May 10, 2024 © POOL – Timothy A. CLARY

Mr. Cohen, loyal among the faithful at the time, nicknamed Donald Trump's “pitbull”, who paid $130,000 to the actress to buy her silence on this sexual relationship, at the end of the presidential campaign in 2016.

According to the prosecution, when Michael Cohen was reimbursed in 2017 by the then US president, these expenses were disguised as “legal fees” in the accounts of the holding company Trump Organization, to hide that the money had been used to cover up a scandal.

Donald Trump is being prosecuted for 34 crimes of accounting falsification, which could theoretically worth up to a prison sentence.

– Tenacious hatred –

When the affair was revealed by the Wall Street Journal in 2018, Michael Cohen initially claimed to have paid Stormy Daniels on his own initiative, without informing his boss.

At the Trump trial, his ex-lawyer turned sworn enemy admits to having lied for him

Stormy Daniels, leaving Manhattan court, in New York, May 9, 2024 © AFP – Charly TRIBALLEAU

Caught up by the justice system, the man who once prided himself on being ready “to take a bullet for Donald Trump” turned against the latter, claiming to have acted under his orders.

Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to tax evasion, making false statements to the US Congress and violating campaign finance laws, the latter offense being directly linked to the payment to Stormy Daniels. Sentenced to three years in prison, he spent about a year behind bars.

His testimony promises to spark sparks, because Michael Cohen and Donald Trump are now committed to each other tenacious hatred.

On Friday, Donald Trump's lawyers again deplored videos on TikTok where Michael Cohen appears wearing a t-shirt on which the former president is behind bars.

At the Trump trial, his ex-lawyer turned sworn enemy admits to having lied for him

Donald Trump's legal woes © AFP – Olivia BUGAULT, Sophie RAMIS

Judge Juan Merchan asked the witness to stop such attacks, as Donald Trump himself was prohibited from speaking about witnesses or jurors.

< p>Once questioned by prosecutors, the former lawyer is expected to be subjected to a barrage of questions from the defense, which has painted him as a pathological liar, a view shared by Donald Trump supporters.

“Cohen, it's a big joke (…) He has no credibility,” said Lisa Lombardo, 61, during a meeting of the former president Saturday near New York.

Since the start of the debates, the jurors have been treated by several witnesses to an unflattering portrait of Michael Cohen, capable of mishandling or cajoling his interlocutors to obtain what he wanted.

They were also able to hear an audio recording of a private conversation where Michael Cohen discusses with Donald Trump a payment to obtain the silence of a another woman, model Karen McDougal, who also claimed to have had a relationship with the billionaire.


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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116