Michael Cohen Makes Shocking Admission In Trump Trial

OPINION:  This article contains commentary which may reflect the author’s opinion

In what is probably going to be his last testimony in the hush money case against the former president of the United States, Michael Cohen revealed during cross-examination the extent to which he had planned to harm Trump and his real estate enterprise before he resigned.

Todd Blanche, the defense lawyer, gave a horrifying summary of the financial exchanges that took place in 2017 between Cohen and Alan Weisselberg, the former CFO of the Trump Organization. After expressing resentment for not receiving payment for a $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, Cohen said that he had “stolen” funds from President Trump by providing his colleague with fictitious reimbursement documentation. Exhibited to the jury were handwritten notes that seemed to compute Cohen’s estimated debt following the payment, in addition to a further $50,000 payment to Red Finch, a tech business. Cohen never did pay the entire sum, though.

“So the $50,000 that you got back from Red Finch… you only paid the Red Finch owner $20,000, right?” Blanche asked. “Yes sir,” Cohen said, according to CNN.

“I just didn’t want to take out $20,000” at once, Cohen said. “I don’t recall if it was exactly $20,000,” Cohen added to clarify. He confirmed that he pocketed the additional $30,000 that Weisselberg paid him via reimbursement.

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He continued by saying that although Red Finch had desired the entire $50,000, they had finally settled for less than half of that amount.

“So, you stole from the Trump organization,” Blanche asked, noting Cohen was reimbursed $100,000.
“Yes sir,” Cohen, said in response to Blanche.

“You didn’t just steal the 30,000, Because it was grossed up, it was 60,000,” Blanche asked. “Yes, sir,” Cohen said.

Cohen said that he has discussed it with several of the district attorney’s office’s prosecutors.

“Did you ever have to plead guilty to larceny,” Blanche asked.

“No, sir,” Cohen said.

CNN reported that when President Trump questioned Cohen about the money, which was a portion of the $420,000 that Cohen was paid back, including the money that Daniels received, he was alert and gazing daggers at him. Blanche presented Cohen with an email dated January 31, 2017, from Weisselberg outlining Cohen’s monthly payments in order to finalize the payment.

The initial email from Cohen said, “Note and mortgage modification agreement for Trump Park Avenue Condominium.” “I’m grateful. You never made time for a friendly embrace. Nevertheless, Weisselberg said, “Please prepare the agreement discussed” so we can pay you on a monthly basis.

As Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg gets ready to provide closing arguments in what is probably the only case against Trump to be finished before Election Day, Cohen returned for a fourth day of impressive testimony. Legal commentators have consistently pointed out that Bragg’s reliance on “circumstantial evidence”—such as allusions to extramarital affairs and a “catch and kill” strategy for unfavorable news stories—is flimsy. As voters continue to question the objectivity of the cases against him, Trump’s prolonged legal battle has given supporters more confidence and brought backing from unexpected quarters.

 

 

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