Trump’s lawyers to attack Michael Cohen’s story of hush money scheme

Donald Trump’s lawyers plan to resume their cross-examination of the Republican presidential candidate’s ex-fixer Michael Cohen on Thursday, aiming to undermine his testimony that Trump was intimately involved in buying a porn star’s silence over an alleged sexual encounter.

Cohen, 57, who served as Trump’s personal lawyer for over a decade, testified this week that Trump ordered him to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 in 2016 to protect Trump’s presidential campaign.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies having a sexual encounter. The New York case, one of four criminal prosecutions he faces, may be the only one with a jury verdict before his Nov. 5 election rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden.

Donald Trump’s lawyers plan to resume their cross-examination of the Republican presidential candidate’s ex-fixer Michael Cohen on Thursday. via REUTERS

Testifying at the first criminal trial of a US president past or present, Cohen said he and Trump discussed a plan to reimburse Cohen for the payout through a series of bogus invoices for legal fees.

Their chats included one in the White House Oval Office when Trump was president in 2017, Cohen said.

In about two hours of cross-examination on Tuesday, defense lawyer Todd Blanche sought to portray the prosecution’s star witness as a serial liar falsely implicating his former boss to exact revenge and make money off his books and podcasts featuring anti-Trump invective.

Blanche used Cohen’s own words to paint him as unreliably biased against Trump, noting that Cohen had called Trump a “dictator douchebag,” “boorish cartoon misogynist” and “Cheeto-dusted cartoon villain” on podcasts and in social media posts.

Testifying at the first criminal trial of a US president past or present, Cohen said he and Trump discussed a plan to reimburse Cohen for the payout through a series of bogus invoices for legal fees. REUTERS
Blanche used Cohen’s own words to paint him as unreliably biased against Trump, noting that Cohen had called Trump a “dictator douchebag,” among other insults. AFP via Getty Images

“He didn’t deliver any hammer blows,” George Grasso, a retired New York state judge who has been attending the trial, said of Blanche’s questioning of Cohen. “If the case were to end right now, I think that they have enough evidence on the record to justify a finding by this jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Donald Trump is guilty.”

Trump, 77, faces 34 counts of falsifying business records in New York and has pleaded not guilty also in the three other cases he faces. He characterizes all four as an attempt to interfere with his campaign, to take back the White House.

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