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At Trump trial, defense seeks to make Michael Cohen falter

Photo: Spencer Platt Getty Images via Agence France-Presse Michael Cohen has already claimed to have paid Stormy Daniels at the end of 2016, via a shell company, to buy her silence about a sexual relationship she claims to have had in 2006 with Trump.

Andréa Bambino – Agence France-Presse and Gregory Walton – Agence France-Presse in New York

Posted at 1:13 p.m. Updated at 2:35 p.m.

  • United States

An inveterate liar with an unquenchable thirst for revenge: At Donald Trump's criminal trial, his lawyers sought to paint the worst possible portrait of his former confidant turned number one accuser, Michael Cohen, during a merciless cross-examination on Thursday.

The man who described himself as a trickster, capable of “lying” or “intimidating” on behalf of his former boss, is the key piece of the puzzle deployed by New York prosecutors to show that Donald Trump approved the hidden payment of $130,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels, at the very end of the November 2016 presidential campaign.

Expenses covered by Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and disguised according to the accusation as “legal expenses” in the accounts of the Trump Organization when they were reimbursed to him in 2017. Hence the lawsuits for accounting falsifications which could earn Donald Trump the first criminal conviction of a former president of the United States.

But Michael Cohen is not worthy of belief, wanted to demonstrate the defense lawyer, Todd Blanche, under the eyes of the former president and a group of Republican elected officials who came to support their presidential champion even in the courtroom.

The lawyer questioned him at length about his lies before Congress in Washington in 2017, facts separate from the current trial, to which Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 and was sentenced, along with other crimes, to a sentence prison sentence which landed him for 13 months behind bars.

“I have agreed to take responsibility,” replied Donald Trump’s former counsel.

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“Take down” Trump

Then, after recounting other episodes where Michael Cohen would have come to terms with the truth, the defense insisted on the ego injury that the witness would have felt, when, once Donald Trump entered the White House on the 20 January 2017, he had not been recruited.

The defense also highlighted the countless attacks by Michael Cohen against his former boss since he was caught up by justice and turned against him. “You better believe in my will to bring this man down,” he says during a podcast in 2020.

The tone is raised again 'a notch when lawyer Blanche sought to demonstrate that Cohen had “lied” during his testimony earlier in the week, saying he had informed Donald Trump by telephone that the Stormy Daniels affair was buried.< /p>

A little shaken, Michael Cohen still reiterated his version.

Since April 15, the trial has forced the Republican candidate for the 2024 presidential election to sit and listen to the proceedings in silence, in a dated courtroom on the 15th floor of the Manhattan court.

The stakes of the trial are enormous, because Donald Trump will be convicted or acquitted by the jurors in the middle of the presidential campaign. The jury is likely to decide before the first televised debate on June 27 between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

Even sentenced to prison, Donald Trump could continue to campaign and appear before the voters on November 5.

During nearly eight hours of hearing Monday and Tuesday — the trial breaks on Wednesdays — the ex-lawyer The billionaire's staff incriminated him at length.

He claimed to have acted under her direction when at the end of 2016 he paid the actress and director of porn films, Stormy Daniels, via a shell company, to buy her silence about a sexual relationship she claims to have had in 2006 with the businessman, then already married to Melania Trump.

To ensure, he said, “that the story would not get out, and would not affect Donald Trump's chances of becoming president of the United States.”

In a calm tone, unlike the tempestuous and excessive man described by some witnesses, Mr. Cohen also reiterated that Donald Trump had validated his reimbursement in 2017, when he was in the White House.

His testimony followed that of Stormy Daniels, who forcefully delivered her version of her relationship with Donald Trump and the reasons that pushed her to negotiate her silence.

A myriad of other protagonists were also called to the stand, such as the former boss of a tabloid, who had “bought” other scandals to prevent them from tarnishing the Republican candidate.

In front of the Manhattan Courthouse, some demonstrators flew balloons in the shape of a penis and bearing photos of New York magistrates considered hostile to Mr. Trump, who has already been heavily sanctioned financially in two civil suits.

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