Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Testifies in Hush Money Trial

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Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Testifies in Hush Money Trial

Michael Cohen, the former attorney of Donald Trump, took to the stand on Monday to testify in the hush money criminal trial. Cohen allegedly carried out the 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, making him the star witness of the case.

He told jurors how he allegedly negotiated payments, bullied reporters, and threatened to sue people on behalf of former president. Cohen described himself as a starry-eyed young lawyer in the early days of his career, leaving his firm to work directly for the Trump Organization in 2007. “It was all very exciting to me,” Cohen said.

Cohen alleged that he did shady things on Trump’s behalf, such as talking the payments he owed to Trump University down 20 percent. “It’s fantastic. It’s great,” Cohen mimicked Trump.

Prosecutors purposely asked him questions to build a case for the argument that Trump knew about the hush money payment. “When he would task you with something, he would then say, ‘Keep me informed. Let me know what’s going on,’” Cohen testified. This was particularly true “if there was a matter that was troubling to him.” He continued: “If he learned of it in another manner, that wouldn’t go over well for you.”

Trump apparently refused to make eye contact with the New York-based attorney when he took the stand and whispered something to his lawyer. The two previously had a very strong relationship, with Cohen saying that he would “take a bullet for Trump.” When Cohen’s office and home were raided by the FBI in 2018, Trump tweeted that he was a “fine person with a wonderful family,” adding he was sure he would not “flip” on him.

Then, when Cohen plead guilty in August 2018 to charges of federal campaign violations, Trump excoriated him, writing on Twitter: “If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest that you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!” Cohen also admitted that he lied to Congress on Trump’s behalf about a Trump Tower construction project in Moscow.