Michael Cohen Testifies in Trump Hush Money Trial

Michael Cohen Testifies in Trump Hush Money Trial

In the ongoing New York criminal case against former President Trump, former lawyer Michael Cohen made a significant appearance on Monday morning as a witness.

Cohen's testimony holds pivotal importance in the case, particularly regarding his role as the intermediary for Trump's alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels, a pornography actress.

Prosecutors from Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's office assert that Trump falsified business records related to these payments.

Cohen, visibly nervous as he took the stand, began his testimony with details about his family history and his initial association with Trump. He disclosed that by the time of the 2016 election, he was earning a salary of approximately $525,000 per year.

Prosecutors had been leading up to Cohen's testimony for weeks, having also called Stormy Daniels to testify last week.

Trump entered the courtroom accompanied by a substantial group of supporters, including Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.), and his son, Eric Trump.

During his testimony, Cohen emphasized his frequent communication with Trump, stating, "I spoke to former President Donald Trump 'every single day, and multiple times a day' before the 2016 election." He highlighted Trump's preference for direct communication through phone calls or face-to-face meetings, noting Trump's avoidance of email and his remarks about the risks associated with electronic communication.

Cohen also described Trump's open-door policy, stating that he could meet with Trump at any time without an appointment due to this policy.

Before Cohen's testimony, Trump and his supporters gathered outside the courtroom. Trump reiterated his stance that the case was a "baseless, politically motivated prosecution" instigated by the Biden administration. He also mentioned recent polling data showing him leading Biden in key battleground states.

During the trial, Cohen admitted to frequently lying and bullying others on behalf of Trump, stating that it was necessary to fulfill tasks and keep Trump satisfied. Despite criticisms of his credibility from Trump allies, Cohen reflected positively on his time working for Trump, describing it as "an amazing experience" with both highs and lows.

Cohen's legal history, including a guilty plea in 2018 for campaign finance violations, making false statements to Congress, and tax evasion, has been cited by Trump allies to question his credibility as a witness.

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