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Trump’s Attorney Made Swiss Cheese Out Of Michael Cohen’s Testimony, Raising Questions Of Perjury

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers disputed Michael Cohen’s testimony in a brutal cross-examination on Thursday, but legal commentators are raising the possibility that Cohen may have perjured himself again.

Defense attorney Todd Blanche questioned Cohen about his past lies, including on oath to Congress and federal judges, and asked whether he took the same oath before testifying as he did in this trial. Current claim. Cohen’s outlook took a turn for the worse in the final minutes before his lunch break, when Cohen said Tuesday that he called President Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller on Oct. 24, 2016, to discuss the matter. This happened when Mr. Blanche directly accused him of lying when he testified. The issue of paying porn star Stormy Daniels.

“That was a lie!” Blanche almost screamed at Cohen. “You did not speak to President Trump that night,” Branch said. “You talked to Keith Schiller.”

Blanche noted that a few minutes before the call, Cohen sent her a text message asking how to handle harassing phone calls from a 14-year-old boy, to which Schiller responded, “Call me.”

Mr. Cohen said he believed he had also spoken to Mr. Trump. Blanche retorts, asking how that is possible on a call that lasted only 1 minute and 36 seconds.

Jonathan Turley, Professor of Law, George Washington University I got it. Some of Cohen’s testimony may have been perjury. (Related: ‘I’m crying a little bit’: Michael Cohen battles with Trump’s lawyers in heated cross-examination)

Mr. Blanche confronted Mr. Cohen about various discrepancies, large and small, in his testimony and previous statements. Mr. Cohen thanked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a 2023 podcast, saying they had spent “countless hours” together uncovering Mr. Trump’s crimes, but Mr. Bragg He admitted to Mr. Branch that he had never met him.

The jury heard part of the podcast, in which Cohen also said he was filled with “joy” as he “imagined Donald Trump being led through the booking process, having his fingerprints taken, having his photo taken.” He said that it would be possible.

Blanche approached Cohen about wanting to work in the White House, but Cohen denied that request, saying he only wanted to be considered for the job “for a selfish purpose.” He highlighted text message conversations with his daughter and others, complained about being ignored, and said that despite all he had done for Trump, he was more than just Trump’s personal lawyer. I asked him if he was embarrassed to be put in the position of “nobody.”

“That’s the role I wanted,” Cohen said. (Related: ‘Not telling the truth’: Jake Tapper stunned after Michael Cohen vows he doesn’t want to work with Trump administration)

Keith Davidson, a former lawyer for Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, said at the beginning of the trial that after receiving a phone call from Cohen expressing his frustration at not being able to get a position in the Trump administration. He testified that he thought he was going to “commit suicide.”

“‘Holy shit, can you believe I can’t go to Washington? I can’t believe I can’t go to Washington after everything I’ve done for that son of a bitch,'” Cohen said. Davidson recalled.

Mr. Cohen testified Thursday that he did not remember telling Mr. Davidson that he wanted to be attorney general.

In the afternoon, Mr. Blanche reviewed Mr. Cohen’s testimony on Monday in chronological order, identifying inconsistencies in each point.

A key point of contention was a June 16, 2016 phone call with Mr. Trump that Mr. Cohen testified about. Cohen told Branch he had “no specific recollection” of the call, but said the documents he later saw “refreshed” his memory.

Mr. Blanche questioned how Mr. Cohen could remember the contents of that particular call in 2016, given that, as Mr. Cohen agreed, he received approximately 14,000 calls a year. .

Cohen said the call he testified was something he had been talking about for six years, calling it “very important” and “all-consuming.” He doesn’t remember the exact time, but he remembers the content.

Mr. Blanche asked Mr. Cohen how often he recorded his conversations, including those with reporters, and talked about them with reporters. He asked Cohen whether he remembered him being asked “several times” if he was recording and he said no while recording.

“I don’t remember specifically,” Cohen said. “It’s not illegal in New York.”

Blanche also said it was unethical for lawyers to record their clients, referring to recordings Cohen made of Trump in connection with the purchase of former Playboy model Karen McDougall’s affair allegations. It pointed out.

“I understand, but did you secretly record your client so that you could play back privileged recorded communications with a third party?” Blanche asked.

“That’s right,” Mr. Cohen said.

Blanche concluded Thursday with a question about a statement Cohen made in 2018 following a Federal Election Commission complaint about payments to Daniels. In the statement, Cohen said the payments were made using personal funds and that “the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign” were not involved. transaction. He told the judge he planned to finish cross-examining Cohen by Monday morning’s recess.

Marchand asked lawyers to prepare for closing arguments on Tuesday.

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