June 13, 2024

Trump trial live: Michael Cohen testifies he did everything to ‘protect my boss’

Donald Trump accuses Judgein hush money trial of being ‘corrupt’ and ‘conflicted’

Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial will resume at Manhattan Criminal Court on Tuesday after the defendant came face to face with his estranged former “fixer” Michael Cohen in Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom on Monday.

Cohen is the attorney who made the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels at the heart of the case in the hope of buying her silence about a sexual encounter she claims she had with Mr Trump in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in July 2006.

Cohen testified yesterday that, when the story emerged shortly before the 2016 election, Mr Trump cared more about the impact on his presidential campaign than his marriage to Melania Trump.

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.

Ms Daniels herself took to the witness stand last week to deliver some highly explicit and embarrassing evidence against Mr Trump and more than held her own in response to hostile cross-examination from the defence, which worked hard to discredit her.

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


Truth Social: Has Trump learned his lesson?

At the risk of sounding like Susan Collins here, Trump’s social output his been (for the most part) more straight-laced than usual of late, suggesting he might at last be taking Judge Merchan’s jail threat seriously.

No attacks on Stormy Daniels or Michael Cohen, just clips from his New Jersey rally and favourable polling about how he is “crushing” Joe Biden in swing states, almost like a relatively normal politician.

That said, he is not entirely refraining from commenting on the case.

He is doing so indirectly, by quoting Fox News talking heads like Jonathan Turley, Tim Scott, Andrew McCarthy, Matt Whitaker, Marc Thiessen and Mark Levin.

Turley, incidentally, like some others on the same network, appears to be struggling for self-awareness.

Joe Sommerlad14 May 2024 09:00


Even after failed ouster, Marjorie Taylor Greene won’t give up war with Mike Johnson

On Wednesday, Greene brought her long-awaited motion to vacate to the floor in an effort to remove Johnson from the speaker’s chair. It failed spectacularly, with 196 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting to kill her resolution.

But she appeared unable to move on during an interview with Fox News on Sunday where she accused Mr Johnson “of being owned by the Democrats” after the rival party voted to protect him.

John Bowden reports from Washington, DC:

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 08:30


Trump praises fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter during rally speech

Donald Trump praised fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter during his rally speech in New Jersey on Saturday (11 May). The former US president called the character, played by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, a “wonderful man”, while simultaneously condemning “people who are being released into our country that we don’t want”. Trump delivered his address to an estimated crowd of about 80,000 supporters under the shadow of the Great White roller coaster. The Republican candidate also called rival Democrat and current US President Joe Biden a “total moron”.

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 06:30


‘A madman in a circular room screaming’

Guess who former defense secretary Jim Mattis is talking about…

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 04:30


Trump’s GOP allies show up in force

With Donald Trump barred from publicly attacking the key witness in his hush money trial, his campaign brought to court a phalanx of Republican elected officials to speak for him.

“The thing that the president is prevented from saying, which is a disgrace, is that every single person involved in this prosecution is practically a Democratic political operative,” U.S. Sen. JD Vance of Ohio said outside the courthouse Monday during a morning break.

Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen took the stand on Monday to allege that the former president instructed him to silence stories that could have hurt his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump, who is balancing the demands of a felony trial with his third run for the White House, has been prohibited by a judge’s gag order from criticizing witnesses and already fined for violating the restrictions.

Bringing allies to court allowed Trump’s campaign to press his message without violating the gag order. It also gave those allies a high-profile platform to demonstrate loyalty to their party’s presumptive nominee and perhaps audition for higher office.


Giuliani had ‘three strikes’ against him says radio station owner

John Catsimatidis, 75, told The New York Post that the former New York City mayor’s ongoing “behavior” was making it increasingly difficult to welcome him back to the station.

“It’s pretty hard to bring him back,” said Mr Catsimatidis, a Republican donor and the founder of Gristedes Food.

“His behavior makes it very hard to reverse course. He makes it hard not to terminate him.”

Amelia Neath and Michelle Del Rey report:

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 02:30


Senators attending Donald Trump’s hush money trial are auditioning for VP, says Joy Reid

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 02:00


Recap: What happened in court last week?

The fourth week of trial, and third week of testimony, in Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial concluded on Friday, closing out days of evidence from various witnesses and experts – including adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Early in the week, Ms Daniels gave detailed accounts about her alleged affair with Mr Trump that ultimately led the former president’s lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to pay her $130,000 in exchange for her silence.

Ms Daniel’s testimony was salacious enough to inspire Mr Trump’s defence team to ask for two mistrials or a modification to the gag order to allow the former president to speak about her.

Judge Merchan denied the motions and warned Mr Trump that future gag order violations could result in jail time.

Here are our key takeaways from last week:

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 01:30


Watch: Trump rants about judge

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 01:00


Feature: Loyalist. Bully. Liar: The many faces of Michael Cohen

It’s the moment that everyone following Donald Trump’s hush money trial had been waiting for.

Even before he stepped up to the witness stand, Cohen – as one of the most talked about figures of the ongoing criminal case – has been on display in many forms, both in trial and online.

In the first four weeks of the trial, Cohen’s name cropped up almost daily in courtroom testimony.

Jurors heard him described as Mr Trump’s “fixer,” his former personal lawyer, a campaign “surrogate,” a convicted felon, a “pants-on-fire kind of guy” and a liar.

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

Oliver O’Connell14 May 2024 00:15

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