Home » Prosecution Rests in Trump Hush Money Trial, Cohen Admits He Stole From Trump

Prosecution Rests in Trump Hush Money Trial, Cohen Admits He Stole From Trump

by Richard A Reagan

On Monday afternoon, Democrat Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, along with his prosecution team, concluded their presentation in the trial against former President Donald Trump. 

Michael Cohen’s testimony, which was expected to be pivotal for the prosecution, instead seemed to undermine their case. Cohen, who previously served as Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, faced scrutiny over his credibility during cross-examination.

During his last day of testimony, Cohen admitted that he took funds from the Trump Organization, justifying his actions by claiming he believed the money was rightfully his.

This admission was particularly damaging, as it directly challenged the trustworthiness of his testimony.

In 2017, according to Cohen, the Trump Organization was to pay technology firm Red Finch $50,000 for using algorithms to enhance Trump’s standing in a poll.

Cohen, who oversaw the deal, requested a $100,000 reimbursement from the Trump Organization, inflated to cover taxes. Yet, on Monday’s testimony, Cohen confessed to embezzling funds by only transferring $20,000 to Red Finch and keeping the remaining $60,000 for himself.

Jonathan Turley, a legal analyst and George Washington University School of Law professor, explained how Cohen’s admission was damaging to the prosecutors. 

“These are hits below the waterline for Cohen but also the prosecutors. They had a man admitting to a major larceny but never charged Cohen. They made Cohen not only their man, but allowed him to keep the money…” Turley wrote on X

Cohen also made another admission that undermined his credibility. He testified that he secretly recorded a private conversation with his employer, Donald Trump, while they were discussing the payment to Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement.

“It was so I could show it to David Pecker and that way he would hear the conversation, that he would know that we’re going to be paid, Mr. Trump is going to be paying him back,” Cohen said. “I also wanted him to remain loyal to Mr. Trump.”

Legal professionals have debated the ethics of Cohen’s action of recording Trump without his consent.

While secretly recording your own conversations isn’t illegal in New York, it may cast doubts on Cohen’s credibility with the jury.

During the cross-examination, Cohen acknowledged that the transaction with Stormy Daniels, commonly referred to as “hush money,” constituted an official, legally enforceable contract.

“Make no mistake, this was a completely legal binding contract, correct?” Trump lawyer Todd Blanche inquired of Cohen, as per CNN.

“Yes sir,” Cohen affirmed.

“A non-disclosure agreement, an NDA, a settlement between two parties, happens all the time?” he continued.

“Yes,” responded Cohen.

Cohen’s confirmation could potentially weaken a fundamental aspect of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s argument, which claims that Donald Trump’s reimbursements to Cohen were falsely categorized as legal expenses.

This narrative aligns closely with statements from former attorney of Stormy Daniels, Keith Davidson, who contested the notion that the payments to his clients—he also represented another woman alleging an affair with Trump—were “hush money.”

“It wasn’t a payoff and it wasn’t hush money … it was consideration in a civil settlement agreement,” Davidson explained to the jury, according to Newsweek.

Following the conclusion of Cohen’s testimony, Trump’s legal team requested the dismissal of the case, citing Cohen’s history of dishonesty.

Justice Juan Merchan has yet to issue a ruling and seemed doubtful of the motion.

“So you want me to take it out of the jury’s hands?” the judge questioned, implying that the “12 New Yorkers” on the jury could adequately determine the credibility of Cohen’s testimony on their own.

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