Ex-lawyer Michael Cohen says Trump ordered him to pay hush money

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By Creative Media News

  • Cohen links hush-money to Trump in Manhattan trial
  • Trump denies charges, faces 34 fraud allegations
  • Cohen’s testimony pivotal in election interference claims against Trump

Through her testimony, the main witness in Donald Trump’s Manhattan trial has repeatedly linked a 2016 hush-money arrangement to the former president.

Michael Cohen, the former attorney for Donald Trump, stated that they spoke promptly following the wire transfer of $130,000 (£104,000) to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

He testified that it was one of numerous occasions he worked “at the direction and for the benefit” of Mr. Trump.

An ex-president has entered a not-guilty plea to the felony charges brought against him.

Mr. Trump faces 34 charges of business fraud in total, which stem from his alleged reimbursement of Cohen for the payment through transactions disguised as legal expenses.

In return for the financial compensation, Ms. Daniels had consented to remain silent regarding allegations that she engaged in sexual relations with Mr. Trump during his married years. He has categorically denied having sexual relations with Ms. Daniels.

The prosecution alleges that the payment, made in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign, and the subsequent attempt to conceal it through record-faking constitute election interference.

On Monday, while the former president listened with his eyes closed and reclined in his chair, Cohen testified in court that Mr. Trump had “approved” the repayment plan.

Cohen reported that Weisselberg conducted conversations between the then-personal adviser, Mr. Trump, and his top financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, between the presidential election and the inauguration.

Weisselberg informed Cohen, in front of their supervisor, that he would receive repayment in twelve $35,000 installments, each of which would act as a retainer for legal services. Cohen expressed his perception that the two individuals had premeditated the arrangement before extending an invitation for him to meet.

Mr. Trump reportedly “approved it” and remarked to Cohen, “This is going to be one heck of a ride in Washington, D.C.”

Cohen testified that the final amount would be significantly more significant than what he initially paid due to the taxation that would befall the payments.

Prosecutors have repeatedly invoked Cohen’s testimony throughout the trial, leading jurors through a trail of manipulated bank statements, text messages, witness testimony, emails, and recordings of crucial conversations.

He ultimately took the witness stand sixteen days into the trial, on the most pivotal day of testimony in the inaugural criminal trial involving a former president of the United States.

The repercussions of his remarks regarding discussions and occurrences eight years ago may hinder Mr. Trump’s efforts to reclaim the White House.

Cohen is incarcerated for payment-related offenses and is one of the few witnesses who could help prosecutors prove that Mr. Trump was aware of the alleged reimbursement scheme. Additionally, he could provide testimony regarding the motives behind Mr. Trump’s alleged fraudulent activities. As stated by prosecutors, the intention was to tamper with the 2016 election.

Additionally, Cohen testified on Monday that Mr. Trump advised him to “be prepared” for adverse publicity after declaring his 2016 presidential candidacy.

He purportedly predicted that a significant number of women would come forward.

He asserted that Mr. Trump gave him instructions to “manage” several hush-money payments and work with tabloid media to dispel false information that might undermine his political goals.

According to him, Mr. Trump was “hugely enraged” over what he believed to be an inadequacy in preventing Ms. Daniels from selling her story to the media.

According to him, Mr. Trump instructed him to “take care of it” and deemed the story a possible catastrophe for his presidential campaign.

He allegedly informed Cohen on Monday, “Women will despise me.”

Cohen additionally provided testimony indicating that he collaborated with the National Enquirer tabloid to purchase and conceal a story circulating that purportedly detailed an affair between Donald Trump and Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Cohen stated that he was in attendance at a call during which Mr. Trump inquired about a payment to Ms. McDougal with National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.

Pecker stated, “We will handle this; we have everything under control,” according to Cohen’s testimony.

Later, outside the courtroom, Mr. Trump expressed his displeasure to reporters, claiming that the case was politically motivated and an attempt to disrupt his presidential campaign.

While it is against the law for President Trump to comment publicly on witness testimony, Republican senators JD Vance of Ohio and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama showed their support by criticizing Cohen and defending the former president.

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Mr. Vance asserted that the president is shamefully unable to reveal that nearly every individual involved in this prosecution is a Democratic political operative.

Assisting the House of Representatives in 2019, Norm Eisen, an attorney who interrogated Cohen, stated that Cohen’s testimony thus far had strengthened the prosecution’s case.

In light of the derogatory remarks made by others about Cohen, he stated, “I am certain the jury is taken aback by the sober, articulate, and candid individual they are about to encounter.”

“Of course, we must withhold final judgment pending cross-examination and a verdict, but he has performed admirably thus far,” he continued.

Cohen entered a guilty plea in 2018 on eight counts of felony, including tax evasion, fraud, and campaign finance violations, the latter of which pertained to the payment under scrutiny during Mr. Trump’s trial.

Furthermore, he entered a guilty plea to deceiving members of Congress.

Mr. Trump’s attorneys have tried to dissociate him from the payment.

They previously questioned Hope Hicks, a former communications aide to Mr. Trump, about whether Cohen occasionally acted in a “uniform” fashion.

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