Will the jury consider serial liar Michael Cohen? | EUROtoday

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Et abruptly, Todd Blanche, Donald Trump's present lawyer, raises his voice in a dramatic and indignant tone. “It was a lie!” » he accuses. Michael Cohen, the ex-lawyer of the previous president, himself a former lawyer (disbarred), who has seen others, stays placid: “No, sir. » However, we cannot say that the blow did not strike. His credibility could even be attenuated and this could be a tipping point in the trial of Donald Trump which is being held in New York.

On Tuesday afternoon, Todd Blanche began cross-examining Michael Cohen, who paid Stormy Daniels, a porn star, in 2016, to buy her silence after a sexual relationship she allegedly had with Donald Trump in 2006. The former president reimbursed him with checks in 2017 designated as “legal fees” in the Trump Organization's accounts, earning him 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Todd Blanche had promised a lot, with a fanfare start:
– “Hello, Mr. Cohen, have we never spoken or met?
– No.
– But you know who I am, don't you?
– Yes.
– In fact, on April 23, so after the trial in this case began, on TikTok, you called me a “whiny little shit”, proper?
– That feels like one thing I may say. »

The contradictions of Michael Cohen

But the afternoon sank into torpor, whereas Todd Blanche scattered, and Michael Cohen remained emotionless. If there’s one factor that every one the witnesses appeared to agree on for the reason that begin of the trial, it was that they hated Michael Cohen, seen as brutal and conceited. On Tuesday, this odious character didn’t seem on the stand. He was calm, composed, responding with “yes, sir” to Todd Blanche, who typically appeared virtually deferential in the direction of him.

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger appeared to have cleared up the lies that could possibly be attributed to Michael Cohen earlier than the protection seized on them to discredit him. Because there are a lot of of them, and never the least. In August 2018, the previous lawyer pleaded responsible to tax fraud associated to his taxi licensing enterprise, mendacity to his financial institution as a result of he used his mortgage to pay Stormy Daniels, and unlawful marketing campaign financing (each for Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels, since they aimed to affect the election by shopping for his silence).

In November 2018, he additionally pleaded responsible to mendacity to Congress in 2017 about Trump Tower Moscow, for which he continued to foyer till June 2016 (he mentioned he stopped in January 2016). He additionally mentioned that he had not mentioned it with Donald Trump, and that he had not agreed to go to Russia to debate the challenge. Finally, throughout Donald Trump's civil trial in Manhattan, Cohen mentioned he was not responsible of tax fraud, although he had pleaded responsible in August 2018 to a federal decide, which amounted to mislead him. However, that was not Todd Blanche's angle of assault Tuesday afternoon.

“It was a lie!” »

According to New York Times, Donald Trump requested him to be extra aggressive in the direction of Michael Cohen. It took him a couple of hours, however by late Thursday morning, Todd Blanche appeared to have discovered his rhythm. He factors to a cellphone name, on October 24, 2016, which Michael Cohen spoke about throughout questioning by Susan Hoffinger, to Donald Trump's bodyguard, Keith Schiller. The latter, he maintains, handed him Donald Trump, to whom he advised that he had solved the Stormy Daniels affair. Was the previous president on speakerphone? Or was it a non-public dialog? The witness not is aware of.

He repeats that he spoke to Donald Trump “about this subject and its resolution”. Todd Blanche shows textual content messages between Schiller and Cohen, who was being harassed by a 14-year-old boy on the time. Wasn't that slightly the explanation for his name to Schiller? “You say you remember a phone call on October 24, that Keith Schiller gave Donald Trump the phone, and that you talked about the payments, but THAT WAS A LIE! »

Todd Blanche had some good moments, but he also missed a lot of opportunitiesNorm Eisen

Michael Cohen, placid, taking a sip of water between questions, replies that he does not “believe” he’s mendacity. After lunch, Todd Blanche exhibits a collection of textual content messages from the previous lawyer to the creator of the hoax: he writes to him that he reported this quantity to the Secret Service for harassment. When he understands that he’s coping with a teen, he asks him to inform his mother and father or guardian in order that they will contact him. It's a half-victory for Todd Blanche, who insists: “You can admit you lied!” » Michael Cohen, nonetheless emotionless: “No, I can't. »


What will the jury believe? Did Michael Cohen just call Keith Schiller of the Secret Service to alert him about the harassment, or did he then pass him on to Trump that he warned about payments to Stormy Daniels? Perhaps this fact, isolated, would not matter. But Thursday morning, Todd Blanche finally called out Michael Cohen on all his lies.

He also plays an excerpt from Michael Cohen's podcast, Mea Culpa, where we hear a completely different character than the calm and measured man sitting at the bar. The show dates from the time when Donald Trump was indicted. “I really hope this man ends up in fucking prison,” exclaims Michael Cohen, excited, machine gun supply and better pitched voice. Revenge is a dish finest served chilly, and you may consider me once I say that I would like this man to be convicted and decay within the shadows for what he did to my household. »

Norm Eisen, like day-after-day, was within the courtroom. He was particular advisor for ethics and authorities reforms on the White House underneath Barack Obama, and, between 2019 and 2020, particular advisor to the House Judiciary Committee for the impeachment of Donald Trump. He interviewed Michael Cohen on the time, when he was investigating Russian election interference.

Today, he recognized the moments when Todd Blanche tried to please his shopper, Donald Trump: “When he was shouting, at the end, just before lunch!” The prosecution saved objecting, and the decide mentioned “granted”. He was having a match, he needed to share his indignation, to say that Trump was being mistreated! But it was infantile, he was like an offended youngster who couldn't get the witness to say that he had lied: “Say you lied!” “No, I didn’t lie!” »

He doesn’t suppose that at the present time “changed the dynamic of the trial”. “Blanche had some good moments, but he also missed a lot of opportunities,” he explains. And he ought to have began with the details. But his objective is to not receive an acquittal, that won’t occur. The objective is for one or two jurors to disagree and a mistrial. »

The prosecution has been unable to make use of paperwork that don’t rely fully on Michael Cohen's phraseAndrew Giuliani

This is clearly not what Donald Trump supporters suppose. Even at this time, round ten figures from the Republican Party got here (like Matt Gaetz, elected from Florida, or Lauren Boebert, from Colorado), deserting the Capitol, in Washington, on the time of a vital vote on a sending of weapons in Israel that Biden needs to freeze. Also within the courtroom viewing room is Andrew Giuliani, the son of Rudy Giuliani, Trump's former lawyer. He then addresses OANN, a far-right channel.

“The prosecution was not able to use documents that are not entirely based on the word of Michael Cohen,” he rejoices. The final day and a half has proven that it was primarily based fully on the phrase of somebody who perjured himself earlier than Congress, a convicted felon, and who each witness mentioned lied a number of occasions. » It displays the opinion of Trump supporters.

Cohen's cross-examination is predicted to proceed till mid-morning Monday, in keeping with Todd Blanche, who has but to assault any of the paperwork offered by the prosecution, nor the fees themselves. He may then name an knowledgeable on marketing campaign finance legal guidelines. As for whether or not “his client”, that’s to say Donald Trump, will testify, as requested by Judge Juan Merchan, that could be a determination they are going to make this weekend. Judge Merchan nonetheless requested each events to organize their remaining arguments for Tuesday.