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‘Stunning’: New Trump Trial Revelation Shocks Jake Tapper

The “stunning” admission that Michael Cohen stole from the Trump Organization visibly shocked CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday.

Cohen, the lawyer who made out the $130,000 hush money to former porn actress Stormy Daniels, told defense attorney Todd Blanche that he stole $30,000 from former President Donald Trump’s company to get himself bonus money he believed he deserved relating to the reimbursement deal.

“It’s fascinating stuff, and I have to say, I’m still kind of reeling from the revelation that Michael Cohen stole money from the Trump Organization and that wasn’t, at least to my knowledge, that the prosecution didn’t get that out earlier because it’s not as though the prosecution is going to be helped by further evidence that Michael Cohen is a shady character … that was just kind of stunning,” Tapper said.

Chief legal analyst Laura Coates expressed surprise that the prosecution did not point to Cohen’s admission or his reputation as a liar. (RELATED: ‘Concerning’: Jonathan Turley Questions Why Judge Who Donated To Biden Was ‘Hand-Picked’ For Trump Trial)

“If they can establish Michael Cohen as somebody who is not to be trusted about the amount of money as well, then they might be able to suggest that Donald Trump had no idea what he was truly paying,” Coates said.

Cohen was paid an $150,000 bonus in 2015 and a $50,000 bonus the next year, according to The Guardian. Cohen admitted that he falsely told the Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg that he needed the company to pay him back with $50,000 to pay off IT company RedFinch, but only paid them $20,000, according to testimony. He also admitted he pocketed the remaining $30,000.

The “grossed up” payment led him to make $60,000, as the grossed up payment was doubled for tax purposes, according to The Guardian.

“So you stole from the Trump Organization?” Blanche asked.

“Yes sir,” Cohen answered.

Cohen asked for a reimbursement for the tech company along with the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels, which was intended to keep an alleged extramarital affair between her and Trump undisclosed ahead of the 2016 election.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34-counts for allegedly falsifying business records to reimburse Cohen for the payment to Daniels through monthly installments of $35,000, labeled as payment for “legal services.”

The same CNN panel said earlier in the segment that Cohen’s admission could damage Bragg’s case against Trump with “reasonable doubt” given that he stole from Trump and lied about where the funds were being directed to.

“This is a bomb, this is really important. This is a bomb dropped in the middle of the prosecution’s case,” CNN legal analyst Elie Honig stated. “Two reasons. One, Michael Cohen was stealing from Donald Trump. He was lying to people about what he was doing with money, he pocketed at least the $30,000 by lying to Weisselberg … $60,000, which by the way, this is crushing to the prosecution’s credibility because the prosecution did not ask Michael Cohen about that on direct and they haven‘t made him plead guilty to larceny, which this is, so let‘s start with that.”

“The other reason it’s so important is the money that Michael Cohen stole from under Donald Trump’s nose by his own admission, was part of the $420,000 that Michael Cohen was reimbursed for Stormy Daniels,” Honig added. “So the heart of the prosecution’s case is, that whole setup where they were going to repay Michael Cohen $420,000 to reimburse him for Stormy Daniels. That was all done to pay Stormy Daniels. Trump knew it. Trump knew every penny. That’s why he‘s guilty. Now it turns out Trump is getting robbed by his own guy.”

Honig said it is a “failure” of the prosecution not to bring up Cohen’s theft on cross-examination.



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