“From his lawyer to the prosecution’s witness”… How Michael Cohen controls fate

11:17 AM

Tuesday, May 14, 2024


Michael Cohen, the main witness in the trial of former US President Donald Trump, said that the latter had directed him to pay a sum to buy the silence of a pornographic film actress, out of fear for the conduct of his election campaign in 2016.

Cohen added to jurors on Monday that then-presidential candidate Trump was very angry because he believed that Cohen had settled the matter five years earlier.

Cohen later recalled Trump saying to him: “I thought you settled it, you should do it.”

Cohen continued in court that Trump directed him to prolong the negotiations as much as possible “until the elections are passed. If I win, it will have no effect, as I will become president, but if I lose, I will not care.”

For his part, Trump turned away from Cohen while the latter was testifying in court.

Michael Cohen is considered the main witness for the prosecution in the trial of former US President Donald Trump, which is currently taking place in Manhattan.


Observers believe that Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, may constitute the weakest point in this trial, as he placed payments to buy the silence of pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels at the heart of the case in which Trump is now being tried.

Prosecutors accuse Trump of illegally repaying these funds to Cohen. Hence, the latter’s testimony is extremely important for the prosecution.

But outside the courtroom, and across podcasts, television and social media, Cohen has not said exactly what the prosecution is waiting for.

Through the X platform (formerly Twitter), Cohen mocked Trump, describing him as “Sleepy Donald,” and he also used an “inappropriate” nickname to refer to the former president.

Cohen shared sarcastic photos showing Trump wearing orange prison uniform, and Cohen also mocked the issue of Trump’s imprisonment on the TikTok platform.

Cohen’s actions provoked Judge Juan Merchan, who in turn asked the prosecution on Friday to warn Cohen against continuing to comment on the case.

Speaking to the BBC, Jeffrey Levin, one of Cohen’s lawyers, said that he had no doubt that his client would comply with the court’s instructions.

These suspicious behaviors on Cohen’s part, coupled with his criminal record, open the door for Trump’s defense to cast doubt on the credibility of this key witness, Cohen.


Lance Fletcher, a former Manhattan prosecutor who now practices criminal defense, says Cohen “is a real headache; he comes up with all the things the prosecution wants a witness not to come up with. He has all kinds of credibility issues.”

In 2018, Cohen was convicted on eight criminal charges, including tax crimes, fraud, and campaign finance violations, and this last charge itself related to paying money to buy the silence of pornographic film actress Daniels so that she would not disclose any relationship she had with Trump.

For his part, Trump faces charges of falsifying records related to Cohen’s $130,000 compensation for buying the silence of Daniels, who claims to have had sex with Trump in 2006, something Trump denies unless he is proven guilty of it.

In his opening argument, Todd Blanche, head of Trump’s defense team, tried to challenge Cohen’s position as a witness, saying that the latter is still “obsessed” with Trump to this day, and that he “froths and froths” against the former president.

“I assure you, it is unbelievable,” Blanche added.

Trump faces four criminal cases that may affect his bid to return to the White House, and in his other three criminal cases, the former president faces charges of misusing classified information and trying to overturn his loss in the 2020 elections to his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

Trump described all the criminal cases filed against him as a conspiracy by Biden’s Democrats to undermine his presidential campaign.

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