June 13, 2024

Live updates: Michael Cohen admits he was ‘knee deep in the cult of Trump’ during cross-examination

Hush money trial ‘weaponised’ against Trump, Speaker Johnson claims

Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial saw the cross-examination of the defendant’s estranged former “fixer” Michael Cohen commence on Tuesday, with Cohen challenged on his evolving attitudes to his ex-boss, colourful insults and the idea that he has profited from an “obsession” with Mr Trump since 2018.

Cohen remained calm and stood his ground on a second day of testimony in Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom, emphasising his former employers’ strategy of “delay, delay, delay” when it came to making the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels at the heart of the case, which was intended to buy her silence about a sexual encounter she claims she had with Mr Trump in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in July 2006.

Ms Daniels herself took to the witness stand last week to deliver some highly explicit and embarrassing evidence, appearing unflappable as the defence worked hard to discredit her.

The former president denies the affair and the 34 felony counts brought against him by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, who accuses him of falsifying business records to hide the payout.

The cross-examination of Cohen will continue after Wednesday’s recess as the prosecution prepares to rest its case.

Alex Woodward and Kelly Rissman are covering the trial from Manhattan Criminal Court.


Truth Social: Trump quotes trial attacks from Republican courtiers

Over on Trump’s social media platform, he’s been congratulating GOP election candidates “Big” Jim Justice and Brad Knott, posting clips of his latest post-trial rants to reporters and quoting at length the opinions of House speaker Mike Johnson, Doug Burgum, Byron Donalds and Cory Mills (as well as numerous Fox pundits), all of whom were in Manhattan to witness Michael Cohen’s cross-examination and show their support for the defendant yesterday.

You will not be at all surprised to hear that all four have very much been toeing the party line.

Here’s Alex Woodward on the Trump “surrogates” flocking to the court yesterday.

Joe Sommerlad15 May 2024 08:45


Whoopi Goldberg hits back at ‘little snowflake’ Trump

Amelia Neath has the story:

Oliver O’Connell15 May 2024 06:15


The many faces of Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen has been described at the trial as Trump’s “fixer,” his former personal lawyer, a campaign “surrogate,” a convicted felon, a “pants-on-fire kind of guy” and a liar.

Now, on the witness stand, Cohen revealed yet another version of himself: a compliant witness.

Kelly Rissman & Alex Woodward15 May 2024 04:15


It wasn’t Melania on Trump’s mind when Stormy Daniels story broke, Cohen testifies

Donald Trump’s former lawyer and one-time fixer, Michael Cohen, testified that the former president expressed greater concern about the impact the Stormy Daniels affair story would have on his 2016 presidential campaign than how it would affect his wife.

“He wasn’t thinking about Melania, this was all about the campaign,” Cohen told the jury on Monday.

Ariana Baio has the story:

Oliver O’Connell15 May 2024 03:15


ICYMI: ‘Women will hate me. Guys will think it’s cool’

“I thought you had this under control. I thought you took care of this,” Cohen said from the witness stand in the former president’s hush money trial on Monday, recalling Mr Trump’s enraged reaction to the news that the adult film star’s allegations had resurfaced.

“Just take care of it. ‘There’s a lot going on at the campaign at the time.’ Just take care of it,” Mr Trump said, according to Cohen.

Alex Woodward and Kelly Rissman filed this report from the courthouse on Monday:

Oliver O’Connell15 May 2024 02:15


How Trump’s hush money trial turned into an audition stage for VP

All the world’s a stage, and this week the spotlight is on the Manhattan Criminal Court as major Republican players flock to audition for the role of Donald Trump’s 2024 running mate.

On Monday, Senators JD Vance and Tommy Tuberville joined the former president in a show of support at his hush money trial, echoing his rhetoric speaking to reporters outside court in slamming the case against him.

Oliver O’Connell15 May 2024 01:15


Trump supporter rides horse through New York City as criminal trial continues

A Donald Trump supporter was seen riding a horse in downtown New York City as the ex-president’s hush money trial continued on Monday 14 May. The man, wearing a cowboy hat, was spotted weaving between traffic on Water Street and Maiden Lane. He held a large flag with the words “Jesus is my savior. Trump is my president”. On Monday, Mr Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen told jurors that the Republican presidential candidate personally approved a hush money payment to bury a porn star’s story of a sexual encounter before it could derail his 2016 campaign.

Oliver O’Connell15 May 2024 00:15


The marriage of convenience between Trump and Johnson

On Tuesday, Mike Johnson — the pious born-again Christian who uses an app that notifies him when his son watches porn (and vice versa) — appeared in public with Donald Trump, the man who faces a legal trial stemming back to his attempts to allegedly pay an adult film actress hush money.

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 23:15


Trump brushes off Kristi Noem’s dog-killing story and calls her ‘terrific’

Katie Hawkinson has the story:

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 22:53


Michael Cohen sheds light on strategy to push back payments, trials and consequences

Kelly Rissman and Alex Woodward report from the courthouse in Lower Manhattan:

Cohen, the former president’s personal attorney, testified resoundingly about a strategy to delay commitments made by Mr Trump — a crucial insight into how the former Trump campaign worked in 2016, and potentially into how his current campaign and legal strategies operate today.

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 22:30

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