Michael Cohen Returns To Witness Stand As Cross-Examination Continues

By iHeartRadio

May 16, 2024

Former President Donald Trump's Hush Money Trial Continues In New York
Photo: David Dee Delgado / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Michael Cohen, the former attorney of former President Donald Trumpreturned to the witness stand on Thursday (May 16) for continued cross-examination by Trump's defense team. The focus of the questioning shifted to the logistics of the alleged hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, a central issue in the case.

Cohen has previously detailed the alleged scheme to silence Daniels before the 2016 election, explaining the $130,000 payment he made at Trump's direction and the aftermath of the deal. The defense team spent the morning attempting to discredit Cohen before moving on to scrutinize the specifics of Daniel's payment.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche questioned Cohen about a series of phone calls and text messages from October 24, 2016. Cohen has testified that he informed Trump during a call that evening that the Daniels deal was funded. Blanche suggested that Cohen's call to Keith Schiller, Trump's former bodyguard, was actually intended to discuss the Daniels deal with Trump. However, Blanche also presented evidence suggesting that Cohen was contacting Schiller about harassing texts he had been receiving, not to speak with Trump.

The defense's line of questioning appears to be aimed at casting doubt on Cohen's testimony about the substance and timing of his communications with Trump.

After breaking for lunch, Blanche continued to pepper Cohen with questions about Trump's motives for wanting to keep the stories of his alleged affairs secret.

In an attempt to undercut the prosecution's argument that the payments were made to influence the 2016 election, Blanche got Cohen to admit Trump was worried about how the affairs would impact his image.

"Fair to say that the first time you heard about that and the story by Ms. Daniels, when you talked to President Trump about it, he said he was worried about what his family would think, correct?" Blanche asked.

"Yes, as well as, of course, for the brand," Cohen replied.

Blanche asked Cohen if he told law enforcement in February 2021, "The first thing that President Trump said to you was that his family wouldn't like that very much?"

Cohen answered, "That's true."

Judge Juan Merchan ended the day's proceedings before Blanche could finish his cross-examination of Cohen. The court will not be in session on Friday as Trump attends his son Barron's high school graduation. When the trial resumes on Monday, the defense will continue their cross-examination of Cohen. 

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