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Michael Cohen contradicts his story on the witness stand

 October 26, 2023

Michael Cohen, previously an attorney to Donald Trump, delivered contradictory statements regarding whether his former client instructed him to inflate the value of his assets.

Cohen, once the personal lawyer of the former president, created ripples in the courtroom when he contradicted several of his previous statements. While he previously testified that Trump had directed him to artificially inflate the value of certain assets, he backtracked during the cross-examination, stating the opposite, as reported by The Hill.

Major win for Trump

During a tense moment in court, Cohen, while being cross-examined, stated that Trump never instructed him to exaggerate his net worth. This statement directly clashed with his earlier testimony.

Trump attorney Clifford Robert asked Cohen:

Mr. Trump never directed you to inflate the numbers in his personal statement. Yes or no?

Cohen responded with a simple, "Yes."

Trump's evident frustration was clear as he threw his hands up, glancing around the courtroom. His lawyer, Alina Habba, mirrored his actions.

Seizing the moment, Robert demanded an immediate directed verdict, pointing out that the prosecution's primary witness had just confirmed he wasn't instructed by Trump to inflate any financial figures. However, Judge Engoron swiftly denied this request.

Trump stood up suddenly and stormed out of the courtroom, with his Secret Service detail close behind. The abrupt exit left the courtroom engulfed in an unexpected quiet.

The former president was also summoned to the witness stand to address his violation of a gag order.

He had been asked not to discuss anyone related to the case, a directive he seemingly violated. This resulted in a $10,000 fine, with the judge referencing statements Trump had made to the press prior to the trial.

Cohen defends his position after the trial

Speaking to reporters after the proceedings, Cohen was vehement in his stance against Trump. He said:

We didn’t take it. We didn’t just walk away. We’re continuing to fight every single act that Mr. Trump tries to throw at us.

He recounted how he felt pressured to accept a guilty plea in 2018, claiming that prosecutors threatened to involve his wife in their indictment of him.

He also expressed his support for Judge Arthur Engoron’s decision to continue the case, emphasizing the need for accountability.

Controversial Truth Social post draws attention

A contentious post on Trump's Truth Social platform, became a focal point in the case.

In the post at issue, Trump alleged a close relationship between Judge Engoron’s principal law clerk and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

He referred to her as “Schumer’s girlfriend” and shared an image of her with the Senator.

Reacting to this, a spokesperson for Schumer clarified:

This pathetic post is ridiculous, absurd, and false – Senator Schumer does not know Ms. Greenfield.

Cohen clarifies on Trump's asset inflation claim

Cohen, aiming to clarify his stance, suggested that Trump’s legal team was selecting parts of his testimony out of context. He emphasized the fact that Trump's manner of communicating was often indirect.

The beleaguered former attorney then referred to 2019 testimony in which Trump's lawyers had highlighted the former president's desire to rank higher on the Forbes list.

However, the government's questioning seemed to leave him exasperated, as was evident from his reactions in court.

Highlights from the courtroom drama

Cohen's past praise for Trump became a significant part of the cross-examination. Trump’s attorney showcased various instances where Cohen had publicly lauded Trump's business acumen and capabilities.

Trump’s defense also aimed to discredit Cohen, bringing up his admitted animosity towards Trump and accusing him of using this sentiment for personal gain.

An argument on the issue of respect erupted between the defense and the prosecution, with each side accusing the other of unfair practices.

Trump’s criminal case attorneys make an appearance

Attorneys Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles, representing Trump in a separate New York criminal case, were spotted in the courtroom. Their presence highlighted the gravity of the ongoing trial.

Before the proceedings, Trump had arrived at the courthouse, referring to the trial as a “witch hunt.”

He also commented on the House GOP's leadership decisions and reports about his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, receiving a grant of immunity in the federal Jan. 6-related case.

Conclusion

  • Michael Cohen contradicts his previous statements about Trump directing him to inflate his assets.
  • Trump took the witness stand to address his gag order violation, resulting in a $10,000 fine.
  • Cohen remains defiant, emphasizing his continued fight against Trump.
  • A Truth Social post by Trump alleging a relationship between Judge Engoron’s clerk and Senator Schumer becomes a point of contention.
  • Cohen's past praises for Trump and his evident animosity are used in the cross-examination.
  • Attorneys from Trump’s separate criminal case were present, underlining the trial's significance.