In the hush-money trial, Michael Cohen is Attacked by Trump’s Attorney

On Tuesday, Donald Trump's lawyers tried to discredit Michael Cohen, the ex-president's star witness in his criminal trial.

On Tuesday, the defence team for Donald Trump attempted to undermine the reliability of Michael Cohen, the key witness in the former president’s criminal trial.

During the cross-examination, Mr. Trump remained silent as his attorney painted Cohen as a man harbouring personal grudges against his former employer.

Cohen maintained his composure over the weeks-long legal spat.

In the hush-money case, he expressed his hope that Mr. Trump would be found guilty of fraud.

Cohen continued his testimony for a second day, delivering yet another round of captivating statements. Prosecutors requested his testimony regarding a payment of $130,000 (£104,300) made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election. The payment was intended to prevent her from disclosing an alleged sexual encounter with Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump is currently facing 34 counts of business fraud. It is alleged that he disguised reimbursements for payments to Cohen as legal expenses. The former president has entered a plea of not guilty to the charges and maintains that he did not engage in any sexual activity with Ms. Daniels.

During the proceedings, Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Todd Blanche, straightforwardly inquired whether Cohen desired to witness Mr. Trump being convicted in the case.

When questioned, Cohen reluctantly replied with a simple “Sure.”

During a two-hour session, Mr. Blanche made efforts to discredit Cohen, who is currently serving a prison sentence for pleading guilty to tax evasion, fraud, and campaign finance violations. He mentioned his guilty plea for lying to congress, and tried to depict Cohen as driven by animosity and a desire for attention. He also aimed to demonstrate that Cohen is attempting to capitalise on the legal troubles of a man he criticises publicly on a regular basis.

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During the cross-examination, Mr. Blanche inquired about a remark Cohen had made about him on social media.

Mr. Blanche inquired about a remark allegedly made by Cohen, questioning whether he had referred to him using derogatory language.

Cohen promptly responded, stating, “That sounds like a statement I would make.”

Justice Juan Merchan promptly removed the answer from the official record, but the exchange established the atmosphere for the rest of the afternoon.

Mr Blanche later showcased some of Cohen’s podcast merchandise, which included a t-shirt featuring an image of Mr Trump wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs.

However, at the end of Tuesday’s session, Mr. Blanche had not yet questioned Cohen about the significant testimony he had provided to prosecutors. This testimony implicated that he had kept Mr. Trump updated throughout the entire process of the payment to Ms. Daniels, and that Mr. Trump had given his approval to the potentially deceptive reimbursement plan.

Despite previous accounts of Cohen’s confrontational demeanour, Cohen maintained his composure during cross-examination.

According to Jeffrey Levine, an attorney representing Cohen, he stated that Mr. Cohen appeared credible.

The testimony will resume on Thursday when court is back in session.

Prosecutors made a bold move by calling Cohen to testify, considering his online posts and criminal record. However, his testimony played a crucial role in the New York district attorney’s case as he was the one who executed the hush-money payment to Ms. Daniels.

Prosecutors are also counting on his cooperation to establish another aspect of their case – that concealing the payment constituted election interference.

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During a crucial moment, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger questioned Cohen about the reason behind his payment.

“In order to prevent the story from being released and potentially impacting Mr. Trump’s presidential aspirations,” he stated to the court.

Ms Hoffinger inquired about the person on whose behalf he had committed the crime.

“Cohen replied on behalf of Mr. Trump,” Cohen responded.

While Cohen expressed no remorse for his association with Mr. Trump or his organisation, he did admit to compromising his moral principles in order to carry out Mr. Trump’s requests.

In April 2018, Cohen’s flat was raided by the FBI. He had a conversation with then-President Trump, who reassured him, saying “stay strong, everything will be fine.”

“I felt a sense of comfort knowing that I had the highest authority in the country looking out for me,” Cohen testified.

However, it marked the final direct exchange between the two individuals. Cohen, who previously expressed unwavering loyalty to Mr. Trump, revealed during his testimony that he made the decision to stop lying on behalf of his well-known client after discussing the impact of a federal investigation on his family.

Following the conclusion of court proceedings on Tuesday, Mr. Trump expressed his satisfaction to reporters, stating that his team had a positive day. He also voiced his disapproval of a gag order that restricts his ability to publicly discuss the judge’s family and other individuals connected to the case.

Several Republican allies of Mr. Trump and potential running mates for the upcoming election have been present at the trial this week.

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House Speaker Mike Johnson, a prominent figure in the US government, was in attendance on Tuesday and addressed the media outside.

Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, and Representative Byron Donalds of Florida were also present at the trial.

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum addressing the media outside the courtroom

During arguments on Tuesday, prosecutors hinted that Mr. Cohen would be the final witness they would summon.

There is speculation surrounding whether Mr. Trump will testify in his own defence, as he has expressed interest in doing so.

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