Cohen offers inside knowledge in Trump’s hush money trial, AP Explains

(14 May 2024)


New York – 14 May 2024
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Eric Tucker, The Associated Press:
"Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, has been on the stand for two full days. He’s faced questioning from prosecutors and defense lawyers. Under questioning from the government, he was asked a lot about the crimes that he says he committed on behalf of Donald Trump. He was calm and composed and acknowledged a series of criminal violations that he says he regrets, but that he did because he was trying to be loyal to the former president. Now, defense lawyers have their opportunity to question Cohen, and they’ve been trying to really hammer his credibility. We haven’t actually heard any questions yet about the underlying allegations or the substance of the case. Instead, the question has been all about trying to determine, trying to establish Cohen as someone who has, can’t be trusted, is a media hound and is out for publicity and has a vested interest in the case."

New York – 14 May 2024
3. COURTROOM SKETCH: Michael Cohen testifies as a Wall Street Journal article is displayed on a screen in Manhattan criminal court
4. COURTROOM SKETCH: Defense attorney Todd Blanche cross examines Michael Cohen in Manhattan criminal court
5. COURTROOM SKETCH: Michael Cohen reacts as he testifies during direct examination in Manhattan criminal court

New York – 14 May 2024
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Eric Tucker, The Associated Press:
"Cohen’s testimony wasn’t necessarily dramatic, but it was really important for the prosecution because he showed intimate familiarity with the ins and outs of the criminal conduct at the core of this case, and he was able to say that each check, each reimbursement, was built on a lie that he had contributed to the filing of false documents on Trump’s behalf as a way to protect Trump. He acknowledged that up front, which could take the steam out of some of the defense questioning that we get on Thursday because he was very upfront about the crimes that he says he committed for Donald Trump."
Michael Cohen has testified again in Donald Trump’s hush money trial.

Defense attorneys tried to draw attention to Cohen’s social media commentary and persistent insults of Trump, expletives included, to try to undermine him as a witness. But the bombast so far has been minimal from the man who was defined for years by his braggadocio as Trump’s problem-zapper.

Instead, his testimony is about purposefully mislabeled checks, false receipts and blind loyalty. And it underscored the foundational argument of the case — that it’s not about the spectacle of what Trump was paying for, but rather his effort to illegally cover up those payments.

The trial was in its 17th day.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts.

The case is the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president and the first of four prosecutions of Trump to reach a jury.


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