Helena Lyng Blak
1 week ago

“Everything required Mr. Trump’s sign-off”: Michael Cohen Testifies in ‘Hush Money’ Trial

Inside the courtroom: Cohen’s explosive testimony in Trump’s hush money trial claims deep involvement.
12.07.2018. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Press conference of Donald Trump, President of United States of America, during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT 2018. " — Photo by gints.ivuskans
12.07.2018. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Press conference of Donald Trump, President of United States of America, during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT 2018. " — Photo by gints.ivuskans

On Monday, May 13, 2024, Trump’s former lawyer and the prosecution’s most prominent witness Michael Cohen concluded his first day of testimony in the criminal case against former president Donald Trump. 

Trump is accused of “repeatedly and fraudulently” falsifying business records to conceal criminal conduct, thereby hiding “damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

Allegedly, the former president unlawfully schemed to suppress bad press in the lead-up to the election by identifying and purchasing potential negative stories about himself.

Allegedly, the former president unlawfully schemed to suppress bad press in the lead-up to the election by identifying and purchasing potential negative stories about himself.

One such story came from adult film actress, Stephanie A. Gregory Clifford, better known as Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump while he was married.

To prevent Daniels from going public with the affair, the prosecution alleges that Trump, through Cohen, paid Daniels the infamous ‘hush money’, and later, Trump supposedly falsified business records to cover up the reimbursement to Cohen.

“It was election fraud, pure and simple,” prosecutor Matthew Colangelo told jurors during his opening statement in late April.

On the other hand, the defense argued that Trump had nothing to do with the ‘hush money’ payments, highlighting the discrepancy between the amount paid to Daniels and the significantly larger amount paid to Cohen.

The prosecution posits that the mismatched amounts were intended to obscure the fact that these were reimbursements, not payments for legal services as presented.

During his testimony, Cohen asserted, according to AP News, that Trump was intimately involved with every aspect of the alleged scheme, stating “Everything required Mr. Trump’s sign-off.”

“What I was doing, I was doing at the direction of and benefit of Mr. Trump,” the star witness further testified.

On Tuesday, Cohen’s testimony continues. 

The defense is expected to bring Cohen’s reliability into question: An admittedly guilty, fraudulent ex-employee, accused of having committed perjury, may prove unappealing or unbelievable to jurors.

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