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Cohen keeps cool as cross-exam kicks off

The central witness in Donald Trump’s Manhattan election interference hush money trial, Michael Cohen, was handed over for cross-examination by lead Trump attorney Todd Blanche on Tuesday, and Cohen kept his calm.

  • Outside the courtroom, the troupe of Republican clowns performed.  North Dakota Governor. Doug Burgum, gnat Vivek Ramaswamy, and Florida Congressmen Byron Donalds and Cory Mills–Florida’s not sending its best; it’s sending its criminals, its election deniers–all wore the MAGA uniform:  blue suit, white shirt, overly-long red tie.  (Trump himself wore a yellow tie on Tuesday.)  Also making appearances: Pop-singing RNC co-chair Lara Trump, who brought her current husband, Eric, as well as Preacher of the House Mike Johnson. 
  • Speaker of the House Mike Johnson called the state judicial process of New York “a sham.”
  • Michael Cohen retook the stand to continue direct questioning from prosecutors.  
  • To prove Cohen was in the White House, prosecutors showed photos and other documentation placing him in the White House.
  • Cohen testified he did minimal work for Trump personally in 2017, after Trump entered the White House, even though he was billing him for $35,000 per month.  Cohen said the invoices were fraudulent.
  • Cleaning the gutter, prosecutors got Cohen to admit he’s made about $4 million using the title “personal attorney to the President.”
  • Around mid-morning, Trump reportedly looked to nod off during Cohen’s testimony.
  • After Cohen’s apartment and office were raided by the FBI in April 2018, Trump said to Cohen, “Don’t worry.  I’m the president.”  
  • Even though Donald Trump was president, Cohen pleaded guilty to federal crimes after he realized he needed to put himself and his family first, not Donald Trump.  
  • Cohen testified about feeling scared and anxious after pleading guilty, calling it the worst day of his life.
  • Wrapping up direct questioning, Cohen said he “violated my moral compass.”
  • Prosecutors told Merchan Cohen would be their last witness. 
  • Opening cross-examination, Trump defense attorney Todd Blanche started by challenging Cohen about statements Cohen had made online about Blanche; Cohen had called Blanche a “a crying little shit” and apparently Blanche was hurt by the comment.
  • According to the transcript by the court reporter, during the ensuing a sidebar after prosecutors objected, Judge Juan Merchan asked Blanche, “Why are you making this about yourself?”
  • Blanche repeatedly attempted to goad Cohen, but Cohen largely seemed nonplussed, answering questions in a calm voice while Blanche’s voice got louder at times.
  • Cohen said he was “knee-deep in the cult of Trump” during Trump’s 2016 presidential run.
  • While Blanche reviews Cohen’s conviction for lying to Congress, Cohen pushes back at being called a liar: “If you want to call it a lie, you can,” he said about a statement he made while defending Trump.
  • At one point, Blanche instructed Cohen to listen to a portion of Cohen’s podcast.  Cohen put on headphones and listened to something that was not heard by the judge, the lawyers or the jury.  This led to a sidebar.
  • A note:  multiple reporters in the courtroom noted that Blanche’s questions seem to be disjointed, with him covering a topic for a moment and then jumping to something else.  At one point, Cohen became confused because Blanche’s references were all over the place, skipping through different moments in time and different places seemingly without rhyme or reason.  Most noted that Cohen did get caught in a number of inconsistencies, and Cohen was characterized as far-less-than-reputable, but nothing seemed to undermine Cohen’s story.
  • There will be no trial session on Wednesday, the normal day off. Cohen will return to the stand Thursday for further cross-examination, but he may be the last witness called.  The defense will likely request a dismissal after the prosecution closes.  
Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

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