Trump criminal trial braces for Michael Cohen testimony

Trump criminal trial braces for Michael Cohen testimony

/ 10:25 AM May 13, 2024

Trump criminal trial braces for Michael Cohen testimony

Republican presidential candidate former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Wildwood Beach on May 11, 2024 in Wildwood, New Jersey. The former President and presumptive Republican nominee held a campaign rally as his hush money trial takes a weekend break. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, is expected to be called to testify on Monday when the trial resumes. Agence France-Presse

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York was expected to hear his former lawyer turned tormentor Michael Cohen testify Monday about his role in what prosecutors say was a cover up of payments to hide an affair.

Cohen’s testimony follows a bruising week for Trump in which adult film star Stormy Daniels gave toe-curling detail about their alleged sexual encounter which is at the heart of the case — and bitterly denied by the presidential hopeful.


Daniels, who claims to have had sex with Trump in 2006, denied she threatened him if he did not buy her silence for $130,000, a payment that prosecutors say Trump then covered up.


READ: New York judge threatens Trump with jail for gag order violations

Trump, 77, is accused of falsifying business records to reimburse his lawyer Cohen for the payment on the eve of the 2016 presidential election, when the story could have proved politically fatal.

The completion of Daniels’ marathon testimony and cross-examination this week clears the way for prosecutors to call Cohen, their remaining star witness.

But jurors have repeatedly heard from witnesses that Cohen was a difficult character who bullied and cajoled others to get his way, while the defense counsel have painted him as a pathological liar and convicted criminal.

The trial is taking place six months before the November election, when the Republican hopeful will try to defeat Democratic President Joe Biden.

READ: Trump says he’s being forced to endure ‘Biden show trial’


During nearly eight hours over two days last week, Daniels walked the New York jury through the one-night stand she said she had with Trump at a celebrity golf tournament, and then the financial settlement she says ensued.

In her testimony, she described Trump’s pajamas, his boxer shorts and the sexual position, and said that he did not wear a condom.

And while she was “not threatened verbally or physically” she said she “felt ashamed I didn’t stop it, didn’t say no.”

These were details that the defense argued were irrelevant to the case — but which they doubled down on and repeated during cross-examination.

Trump sat impassively for much of Daniels’ testimony, apparently cursing at times, and railing against proceedings in his comments to reporters as he entered and left the Manhattan courtroom.

Trump has denied having sex with Daniels, and his lawyers asked the judge for a mistrial on the grounds her testimony was “extremely prejudicial” in what is essentially a financial records and election-related case.

“People forget, if they think it’s going to be hard for him to keep his temper down, that he testified publicly in 2019 — and he was in front of 15 partisan Republicans,” a source close to Cohen told AFP, confirming he would testify on Monday.

“Everything he says is backed up by documents. He has a high bar to prove his sincerity — but he’s proven he can.”

Cohen spent just over 13 months in prison and a year and a half on house arrest after he was sentenced to three years imprisonment for lying to Congress and financial crimes.

Crude slurs

Judge Juan Merchan denied the mistrial request on Tuesday, and a second one lodged on Thursday.

Merchan has imposed a gag order on Trump prohibiting him from publicly attacking witnesses and the ex-president — who has traded insults with Daniels for years, calling her “horseface” and other crude slurs — has not commented directly on her testimony.

Trump spoke at a rally on a beach in New Jersey on Saturday and condemned the judge as “conflicted” and the prosecutor in the case, Alvin Bragg, as a “radical Democrat.”

But he appeared to heed the gag order and avoided naming any witnesses in the case, including Cohen.

Trump said Thursday that he filed an appeal against the gag order, while on Friday his lawyers sought to have a gag order applied to Cohen — a vocal Trump critic — ahead of his testimony.

His lawyers also demanded that Trump be allowed to hit back publicly at Daniels’ claims about their encounter now that she was no longer a witness.

Judge Merchan denied the request to change the gag order, which Trump has been fined $10,000 for breaking.

In addition to the New York case, Trump has been indicted in Washington and Georgia on charges of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

He has also been charged in Florida with allegedly mishandling classified documents after leaving the White House but that case has been postponed indefinitely

TAGS: Donald Trump, hush money trial, Michael Cohen, US politics

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.