Trump Attorney Delivers a Perry Mason Moment Against Michael Cohen

Donald Trump’s chief litigator in the Get Trump case in New York landed what looked like a pivotal strike—a Perry Mason moment— against the former president’s personal lawyer-turned-prosecution-witness, Michael Cohen– catching him in a lie right in front of the jury. 

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In what is expected to be the final day of his testimony on Thursday, the prosecutor’s star witness was “dog walked,” as Congressman Matt Gaetz put it, through a path of Cohen’s testimony, catching him in lie after self-serving lie in testimony to show jurors that the convicted perjurer had done it again. 

Trump lawyer Todd Blanche “lost his temper” with Cohen over a key conversation that Cohen had depicted as the moment he’d told Trump about finalizing a nondisclosure agreement with adult film copulator Stormy Daniels. Cohen claimed the call to the boss would bring an end to Daniels’ threats to tell the world she’d bedded the future president in 2006, the first time they’d met. Cohen testified in questioning by prosecutors that the October 24, 2016, date was to tell “the boss” he’d stopped the story from getting out and therefore ensnared Trump in the would-be conspiracy that prosecutors have claimed but never charged. 

Instead, Blanche angrily and dramatically told Cohen, “That was a lie!”

In fact, Blanche had discovered that the one-minute and 36-second phone call wasn’t about that at all. Indeed, it wasn’t even a call with Trump. 

Blanche presented Cohen with evidence that Cohen, in the days prior to the call, had received dozens of harassing phone calls from a 14-year-old, and that on the evening of Oct. 24, he texted [Trump bodyguard Keith] Schiller to inform him of the calls. Minutes later, according to evidence, Schiller left Cohen a voicemail, and then Cohen called him back, with a call that lasted one minute and 36 seconds.

Moments later, Cohen texted Schiller the number of the person who had been placing the harassing phone calls.

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But things got worse for Cohen as he tried to explain that he hadn’t lied about the call. 

So, Cohen opened his mouth and started dissembling. 

Blanche pressed Cohen about his testimony that the call was with Trump about Daniels, and not with Schiller about the harassing phone calls.

“Part of it was the 14-year-old,” Cohen said, “but I know that Keith was with Mr. Trump at the time, and it was more than just this,” he said, referring to the calls.

“You had enough time in one minute and 36 seconds to update Mr. Schiller about all the harassing phone calls and the update on Stormy Daniels?” Blanche asked, growing impatient.

Cohen replied calmly that he “always ran everything by the boss immediately, and in this case it could have been just saying, ‘Everything’s been taken care of, it’s going to be resolved.’”

And then Blanche lost it on Cohen. “That. Was. A. Lie,” he “shrieked,” according to Politico. “You can admit it!” 

“No, sir, I can’t,” Cohen said. Cohen then changed his answer, saying, “I believe that I also spoke to Mr. Trump and told him everything regarding Stormy Daniels was being worked on and it’s going to be resolved.”

“We are not asking for your belief,” Blanche said angrily. “This jury doesn’t want to hear what you think happened.”

Cohen has used “I believe” and “sounds right” during his testimony all week. Blanche made a point to stop Cohen and demand he lose the weasel words and clarify his answer.

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Whether the jury understood that the prosecution’s star witness, upon whom this bookkeeping case relies, had just been caught, gutted, and pan-fried in front of them won’t be known until they render a verdict—if they can.

The Trump defense team has attempted to show that Cohen turned on his old boss because he hadn’t been given a job in the White House. They portrayed Cohen as manipulated by Main Justice to flip on Trump and provide dirt on his boss in exchange for a lighter sentence for his unrelated tax and other personal illegal activity. As part of that deal, the DOJ got Cohen to plead guilty to campaign finance violations, which made no sense… unless they planned to use them against Trump in this Manhattan case. 

See what they did there? 

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