Home » Michael Cohen Testifies Against Trump in Hush Money Trial: Doubts Cast on Credibility

Michael Cohen Testifies Against Trump in Hush Money Trial: Doubts Cast on Credibility

by Richard A Reagan

Michael Cohen, the disbarred lawyer and convicted felon, took the stand against former President Donald Trump in the Manhattan hush money trial.

Cohen’s testimony on Monday centered around accusations that Trump directed him to make payments to silence alleged extramarital affairs during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Yet, the reliability of Cohen’s testimony remains under intense scrutiny due to his criminal background and previous admissions of lying.

Cohen, 57, claimed in court that Trump had instructed him to “take care of” a potential scandal involving adult film star Stormy Daniels, who was allegedly prepared to go public with stories of her encounters with Trump.

According to Cohen, these directions came directly from Trump who wanted the matter resolved swiftly.

Despite his detailed account, Cohen’s credibility is a significant issue for the jury. His past convictions for lying to Congress and his openly hostile attitude towards Trump post-conviction raise questions about his motivations and truthfulness.

The defense is expected to highlight these points extensively in their cross-examination later this week.

In a packed courtroom, Trump, who was present, appeared largely disengaged during much of Cohen’s testimony, which lasted several hours.

The trial also played a secret recording from 2016, made by Cohen, in which Trump can be heard discussing the finances around the hush money payments.

However, the core of the prosecution’s case depends heavily on Cohen’s word against Trump’s, especially concerning meetings that purportedly included only a few witnesses, such as former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, another convicted felon.

This aspect of the testimony is crucial as it relates directly to the 34 felony charges Trump faces for allegedly falsifying business records to cover up the reimbursements as legal expenses.

Cohen’s testimony did not just revisit his previous actions but also painted a portrait of his transformation from a loyal fixer to a critic.

This shift was evident as Cohen presented himself as a reformed figure, aiming to offer a straightforward account, which he punctuated with self-deprecating remarks and a calmer demeanor.

Yet, this transformation might not be sufficient to sway a jury that must grapple with Cohen’s complex past and the high stakes of a trial that could influence public perception of Trump during a critical election cycle.

As the trial progresses, the defense is likely to continue focusing on undermining Cohen’s testimony, portraying him as an unreliable source with a personal vendetta against the former president.

The outcome of this trial, pivotal for both Trump and the judicial system’s integrity, hinges on whether the jury will see past Cohen’s tarnished reputation to consider the evidence presented. 

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