Here’s All the Nasty Things Witnesses Said About Trump’s Former Fixer Michael Cohen, Who Will Testify Monday



CNN

Can’t say anything nice to anyone Michael Cohen.

Donald TrumpA key witness in the Manhattan district attorney’s case against the former president is expected to take the stand Monday. Adult film actress Stormy Daniels Before the 2016 elections.

Through three weeks of testimony, jurors have already heard a lot about Cohen from several witnesses, who have painted an unflattering portrait of an aggressive, impulsive and unpleasant attorney.

David Becker, National Enquirer parent company American Media Inc. The former chairman of the , said Cohen was “prone to exaggeration”. Former Trump aide Hope Hicks Cohen said he prefers to call himself a “fixer” — “only possible because he broke it first,” he said. And Daniels’ former attorney, Keith Davidson, said he only worked with Cohen because he didn’t want to deal with — along with everyone else — Daniels’ then-manager Gina Rodriguez.

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“Gina called me: ‘Some idiot called me, was very aggressive, and threatened to sue me. And, Keith, I want you to call back this bullshit,'” Davidson testified in the third week of the trial.

“I hate to ask it like this, but who is that idiot?” Assistant District Attorney Joshua Steinglass asked.

“That’s Michael Cohen,” Davidson replied.

Cohen is now on the witness stand to provide testimony that could help prove Trump falsified business records when Cohen allegedly returned $130,000 to Daniels to prevent him from going public about a meeting that took place before the 2016 election. Trump has pleaded not guilty and has denied the affair.

Cohen was the only one who testified that Trump was involved in both the decision to pay Daniels and the plan to repay Cohen for advancing the money. Cohen will serve as the prosecutor, and will take the jury from an initial meeting in which Becker, Cohen and Trump allegedly agreed to buy negative stories that could hurt Trump’s presidential bid for payments to Daniels days before Election Day. Oval Office meeting in February 2017, weeks after Trump’s inauguration.

Prosecutors allege that during the February meeting, Trump and Cohen agreed on how Cohen would be reimbursed. That arrangement, prosecutors say, included a false narrative that Cohen was working under a retainer agreement. The documents, ranging from invoices and general ledger entries to checks signed by Trump, make up 34 criminal charges in the case.

Prosecutors waited until the end of their case to call Cohen, after introducing phone records, e-mails, text messages and bank records that they believed would be credible to the jury. They didn’t try to hide from the jury that he and the other witnesses had plenty of problems.

“We’re going to be very up front that what you did to many of the witnesses in this case could be considered some baggage,” Steinglass told a group of prospective jurors during jury selection.

The testimony could pit Trump against Cohen, who once said he would take a bullet for the former president. They last saw each other when Cohen testified against Trump New York civil fraud trial Last fall. Cohen’s testimony was brief, but the confrontation was tense.

The stakes are high this week with a possible criminal conviction and possible prison sentence for Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

It ends a long journey for Cohen, who still grieves He was imprisoned for three years and house arrest after pleading guilty to federal campaign finance charges related to payroll, among other crimes.

Cohen met with prosecutors more than a dozen times and testified before a grand jury in the Hush money trial. He is exempt from state charges for his alleged role in the conspiracy.

He will also face cross-examination by Trump lawyer Todd Blanche. The former president’s lawyers are expected to hammer Cohen’s credibility, including digging into his past and suggesting to the jury that Trump did not know what deal Cohen made or how it was recorded on his company’s books.

“Cohen has been attacked and undermined by prosecution witnesses before he even takes the stand. On the one hand, he could damage things before he takes the stand. But he could also benefit from lower expectations if the jury finds he’s better than advertised,” CNN senior legal analyst and former state and federal Gov. Attorney Eli Honig said.

After his prison sentence, Cohen published books and podcasts attacking Trump

The allegations against Trump relate to events during the 2016 election. But in many ways, the case against Trump stems from his former fixer Decision to plead guilty Two cases in federal court in 2018 alleging illegal campaign contributions in violation of federal campaign finance laws. He implicated Trump directly in the scheme and admitted that he planned to pay Daniels on Trump’s behalf.

Cohen pleaded guilty to tax charges and lying to Congress about Trump’s business venture to build Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison, which he will serve behind bars and under house arrest.

Cohen’s plea prompted the Manhattan district attorney’s office to launch an investigation into the hush payments that led to Trump’s indictment last year.

Cohen was committed to antagonizing Trump. He published two books, “Disloyal” in 2020 and “Revenge” in 2022, and started a podcast called “Me Culpa” — all of which spent a lot of time bashing Trump and hyping his case.

On social media, Cohen continued to attack Trump in the weeks leading up to the trial and even after it began. The social media jabs culminated in Judge Juan Mercant telling prosecutors on Friday to give Cohen a message “from the bench” that he should stop talking about the case. (Merchant has said that a witness cannot legally vote.)

Trump has frequently lashed out in interviews and on social media, including in several instances where he defied a judge’s order. Cock order On the former president for preventing him from discussing the witnesses in the case.

Beginning with Becker, the first witness in the case, jurors heard criticism from witness after witness of Cohen’s testimony.

Becker, who met with Cohen and Trump at a key Trump Tower meeting in 2015, asked Trump lawyer Emil Bowe if Cohen was “exaggerating.”

“Yes,” Becker said.

Bowe asked Becker if he couldn’t believe everything Cohen said. The judge objected to the question, telling Trump’s lawyer in a sidebar discussion that it was not the place to “impeach” Cohen’s credibility.

More witnesses will continue to do so anyway.

Cohen’s former banker, Gary Farrow, testified that he was given Cohen’s account specifically because he could be firm with people who were “a little bit challenging.” Farrow said it was fair to call Cohen an “aggressive guy.”

“Whatever he needed, he called me, and it was always something urgent,” the banker said.

Cohen’s most negative assessment came from Davidson, who was negotiating money with Cohen on behalf of Daniels in 2016. Davidson described a 2011 conversation between Daniels and a blog post about Trump. Insults and provocations and accusations.”

“I don’t think he was accusing us of anything. He was yelling,” Davidson said.

Daniels’ former attorney explained how he became involved in the hush money deal when Daniels’ manager asked him to help close a deal for a non-disclosure agreement.

Asked why he got involved, Davidson said: “Moral of the story: Nobody wants to talk to Cohen.”

Davidson recalled under questioning from Steinglass that after Trump was elected in 2016, he received a call from Cohen in December who was “very frustrated and sad.”

He said something to the effect of “Jesus Christ.” Can you believe I’m not going to Washington? After all I have done for the man. I can’t believe I won’t be going to Washington. I’ve saved that guy so many times, you never know.

Others who are not as connected to Cohen as Davidson have had better things to say. Jeff McCany, a former Trump Organization controller, was asked about Cohen’s position at the company.

“He said he was a lawyer,” McConey replied.

“Did he work in law?” asked attorney Matthew Colangelo.

“I guess so,” McKenney quipped.

Hicks, who worked in the Trump Organization before becoming a key aide in the 2016 campaign, described to jurors how Cohen — a Trump fixer — could leverage his influence on the campaign.

“Mr. Cohen there were times when you did things that you felt weren’t helpful to what you were trying to accomplish, weren’t there?” Bowe asked Trump’s 2016 campaign press secretary.

“Yes,” Hicks replied. “I’d say he likes to call himself ‘a fixer’ or ‘Mr. Fix it,’ because he broke it first so he could come and fix it.”

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