Home Politics Trump prosecutors lay the groundwork for Michael Cohen’s testimony

Trump prosecutors lay the groundwork for Michael Cohen’s testimony

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Trump prosecutors lay the groundwork for Michael Cohen’s testimony

Because the very first day of testimony in former President Donald Trump’s Latest York criminal hush money trial, prosecutors have been introducing evidence laying the groundwork for anticipated testimony from Michael Cohen – a possible star witness within the case, but additionally a convicted liar.

Cohen, who is predicted to testify as early as Monday, could possibly be crucial in tying Trump to key parts of the 34 felony counts the previous president faces that accuse him of falsifying business records to cover up unlawfully interfering within the 2016 election. Cohen has said Trump authorized him to pay porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to remain quiet about an alleged affair. He has also described a discussion with Trump on the White House about getting reimbursed. The records charges are connected to what prosecutors say were falsified reimbursement payments made to Cohen in 2017.

Nevertheless, Cohen is not the kind of witness prosecutors would have drawn up from scratch. The disbarred former lawyer pleaded guilty in 2018 to lying to Congress, amongst other crimes, and was sentenced to a few years in prison. Trump’s defense team will almost actually come able to portray Cohen – who often antagonizes Trump in media appearances – as biased.

So what have prosecutors done to get ahead of Cohen’s vulnerabilities? Here’s a take a look at the testimony and evidence – including Trump’s own words – that prosecutors have provided jurors ahead of what is certain to be his contentious time on the witness stand.

What’s going to Cohen say concerning the lead-up to hush money payments?

It isn’t clear what Cohen will reveal in his testimony, but he is predicted to explain a gathering at Trump Tower in August of 2015 with Trump and David Pecker, who headed the parent company for the National Enquirer tabloid on the time.

Based on prosecutors, Pecker agreed on the meeting to alert Cohen to any potential negative stories about Trump before they were published, to assist the Trump campaign buy the stories and thereby keep them from getting out. That arrangement is commonly called a “catch-and-kill” scheme, used to guard celebrities or other outstanding people from damaging reports.

Catch-and-kill scheme: What the jury has already seen and heard

Jurors have already heard Pecker’s testimony. He described the alleged August 2015 meeting with Cohen and Trump and said he promised to be “eyes and ears” when it got here to stories which may hurt Trump’s 2016 campaign. He also described publishing negative stories about Trump’s competitors that were fed to him by Cohen.

What’s going to Cohen say a couple of pivotal 2017 meeting with a top Trump worker?

Based on prosecutors’ allegations, Cohen met with then-Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg in January of 2017 to debate how he could be reimbursed for paying Daniels the hush money.

Cohen, Weisselberg, and Trump all agreed to the reimbursement arrangement, which involved Cohen sending invoices to Trump through Trump Organization employees that may falsely request payments for 2017 legal services, Latest York officials have said.

What has the jury already seen and heard about that meeting?

Weisselberg is currently in jail for committing perjury in Trump’s recent Latest York civil fraud trial, which centered on whether the previous president inflated the worth of his real estate empire. (A judge determined he did, and Trump has appealed.)

Judge Juan Merchan suggested on Friday that prosecutors may consider bringing Weisselberg to the trial to substantiate he would invoke his constitutional right against self-incrimination somewhat than testify, or to see what he’ll say. But as of now, Cohen seems…

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