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Trump's former confidant on defense grill

Photo: Timothy A. Clary Agence France-Presse Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen leaves his home to head to Manhattan Criminal Court for the trial of former US President Donald Trump.

Andréa Bambino – Agence France-Presse in New York

Published at 11:44 a.m. Updated at 2:26 p.m.

  • United States

Donald Trump's former confidant, Michael Cohen, is on the defense grill on Tuesday after incriminating the former US president at his trial in New York for hidden payments to a film star X.

Six months before the presidential election between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, this historic trial is increasingly politicized: the leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives Mike Johnson came to denounce the proceedings and attacked the legitimacy of the court in front of the doors of the Manhattan courthouse.

Mike Johnson, one of the highest figures in the American state, raged against justice that he said was “instrumentalized” against his champion , echoing Donald Trump who has denounced “a witch hunt” since the start of the trial on April 15.

Fifteen floors higher, in the courtroom court, Michael Cohen, 57, returned Tuesday after more than five hours of testimony the day before during which he incriminated his former boss.

In front of the jurors, the billionaire's former personal lawyer hit the nail on the head.

Why, asked prosecutor Susan Hoffinger, did he pay, at the very end of the 2016 presidential campaign, $130,000 to porn actress Stormy Daniels ?

“To make sure the story didn't get out “not, and would not affect Donald Trump's chances of becoming President of the United States,” his former personal lawyer responded.

The story in question: that of a sexual relationship between Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump in 2006; which the latter denies.

On whose behalf did he act ? “On behalf of Donald Trump,” he added.

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Invoices and checks

In this historic and unprecedented trial for a former American president, the former president 77-year-old is facing criminal charges for 34 accounting falsification offenses.

The reimbursements to Michael Cohen, made in 2017 while he was at the White House, would have been disguised according to the accusation as “legal fees” in the accounts of the Trump Organization.

In a moment charged with intensity, the prosecutor scrolled one by one on court screens the invoices that paid Michael Cohen, as well as 11 checks, most of them directly signed by Donald Trump.

The former lawyer calmly repeated for each receipt that they mentioned services he had not rendered and that it was about reimbursing him for the payments to Stormy Daniels.

Republican presidential candidate for the third time, Donald Trump risks the first criminal conviction of a former American head of state, and in theory faces a prison sentence.

This would not prevent him from running against Joe Biden on November 5.

After the prosecution's questioning, of which he is the key witness, Michael Cohen will come under a barrage of questions from the defense, who have already portrayed him as a pathological liar.

When the case had been revealed by the Wall Street Journal in 2018, Michael Cohen said he paid Stormy Daniels on his own initiative, without informing Donald Trump.

He turned his back once he was caught by the courts in 2018.


< p>Michael Cohen then pleaded guilty to bank and tax fraud, lying before the US Congress and violating campaign financing laws, the latter offense being directly linked to the payment to Stormy Daniels. He was sentenced to three years in prison, including 13 months actually behind bars.

According to the ex-lawyer, Donald Trump approved the payment to Stormy Daniels because he feared a “catastrophic” effect, even “hatred” from the female electorate, against Hillary Clinton, his presidential rival whom he had finally beaten to the wire.

Loyal among Donald Trump's followers, not denying the nickname “pit bull” ready to “take a bullet” for him, Michael Cohen also admitted to having lied, intimidated and threatened on behalf of the New York tycoon.< /p>

On Tuesday, he delivered a mea culpa: “to remain loyal and do what he told me to do, I violated my morals and I suffered the consequences, as did my family.”

Her testimony joins that of Stormy Daniels, who last week gave a raw account of the sexual relationship she claims to have had with Donald Trump in 2006.

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