Serial Perjurer Michael Cohen Testifies for the Prosecution in Trump NYC Trial

News & Politics

Prosecutors in the bookkeeping trial of Donald Trump have gone for atmospherics in the courtroom again by bringing in Michael Cohen. The trash-talking convicted perjurer and former Trump lawyer was called in to pull together the prosecution’s legal theory that there was a Trump World conspiracy to steal the 2016 election by keeping negative stories out of the press to influence the election in his favor. 

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None of this has been charged in the case, however, as I’ve explained in previous stories. Indeed, Trump is charged with 34 instances of paying Cohen to silence stories to steal the election and calling them legal fees. Prosecutors claim to believe that they should be campaign expenditures, a move that would have gotten Trump in legal trouble with this crew. Federal campaign officials and Southern District of New York federal prosecutors said Trump went by the book and declined to bring charges.  

Trump has kept his eyes closed through much of the Cohen testimony. Cohen has looked intently at prosecutor Susan Hoffinger as he testifies and, according to courtroom reports, but so far hasn’t looked at the jury or Trump. 

Last week, the woman who claimed to have slept with Trump in 2006, Stormy Daniels, testified in detail about the tryst that Trump has always claimed never happened. Her appearance beclouded the already ridiculous trial, the reasons for which I’ve previously explained, with a malodorous stench from the gratuitousness and beside-the-point testimony she offered. 

Cohen is at least a little closer to the bookkeeping charges, which have been magically transformed into felonies by the “Get Trump” attorneys who have made getting Trump their raison d’etre, even if it’s as dumb as this case. As the other cases against Trump in federal court and Fani Willis’s Fulton County, Ga., are slowed due to outrageous behavior on the part of the prosecutors involved, lawyers who have joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s office just to prosecute this case are going balls out to get this overwhelmingly Democrat jury to get them one guilty verdict before the election. 

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Cohen has testified about how he worked with David Pecker of the National Enquirer to kill anti-Trump stories about Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, and the doorman who made up a story about a Trump love child. After he performed his duties for Trump, the former president reimbursed his lawyer and gave him extra money to cover his taxes. 

Trump’s son Eric has spent many days of the trial inside the courtroom, and on Monday, he was joined by Sens. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). Last week, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) came to the trial and lambasted the case of the Democrat-connected prosecutors and the outrageous gag order on the presumptive GOP nominee.

In court Monday, prosecutors played a recording Cohen secretly made while speaking to Trump in his office. 

Related: Just One More Thing, Stormy: Do You Know Anything About Trump’s Business Records?

CNN captured the testimony surrounding the audio recording which he previously released in 2018 about trying to get the Karen McDougal story killed at the National Enquirer:

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“It was so I could show it to David Pecker and that way he would hear the conversation, that he would know that we’re going to be paid, Mr. Trump is going to be paying him back,” Cohen said.

“I also wanted him to remain loyal to Mr. Trump,” Cohen said.

Cohen said he had his cell phone in his hand and hit record while he had the conversation with Trump. He says he was on the opposite side of Trump’s desk.

Cohen also testified that Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg was the one he discussed payments with. “It was any deal would end up going through Allen,” he testified. “Allen handled all the finances coming in and coming out,” he continued. 

Trying to kill a story because you don’t like it is not against the law. Indeed, none of this is against the law, but prosecutors may have only one chance to smear Trump before the election, as if New York Attorney General Letitia James’s efforts to bankrupt him aren’t bad enough. 

Judge Juan Merchan has allowed prosecutors to tie the 34 misdemeanors to an unspecified felony law, which would elevate the charges to felonies. Prosecutors claim that lawyer fees to Michael Cohen in 2017 helped Trump steal the 2016 election. 

When Trump’s lawyers have their chance to cross-examine Cohen, they might ask him to explain why a federal judge and congressional members believe that Cohen is a serial perjurer. But he did admit in court that he lied all the time for Trump.

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