Cohen COLLAPSES During CROSS after ADMITTING to LYING Under Oath

Michael Cohen collapsed under cross-examination as he struggled to explain his constantly changing story and multiple contradictions, even admitting that his “smoking gun” phone call was also about something else!


 

In this report:

The second day of Michael Cohen’s cross-examination by Todd Blanche, one of Donald Trump’s defense attorneys, saw an intense and revealing courtroom atmosphere. Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, faced tough questions aimed at exposing his lack of credibility. The stakes were high as Cohen’s testimony was pivotal for the prosecution’s case against Trump.

Courtroom Atmosphere and Initial Proceedings

Trump, dressed sharply in a blue suit and red power tie, was present in the courtroom, engaging in discussions with his legal team. The day began with a flurry of activity as photographers, previously banned, were now allowed to take new photos, causing a brief commotion. Once the judge, Juan Merchan, entered, the court was called to order. Both parties announced their presence, and a lengthy sidebar discussion about scheduling ensued. During this delay, courtroom observers, including Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press, noted the extended sidebar and speculated humorously about the water bottle on the witness stand.

Focus on Cohen’s Credibility

With the sidebar concluded, Cohen was reminded by the judge that he was still under oath. Cohen’s sarcastic remark about the meaning of an oath set the tone for the tense cross-examination that followed. Todd Blanche began by questioning Cohen about his communications with Detective Jeremy Rosenberg from the DA’s office. Blanche presented messages exchanged between Cohen and Rosenberg, but the prosecution objected, citing concerns about disclosing sensitive investigative methods. The judge sustained the objection, preventing these messages from being entered into evidence.

Blanche continued by highlighting Cohen’s public statements and social media activity. Cohen admitted to making numerous statements on his podcast and social media, including expressing a desire to see Trump jailed and his excitement about the trial. These statements were used to suggest Cohen’s bias and motive against Trump.

Highlighting Past Lies

Blanche shifted focus to Cohen’s history of lying under oath. He reminded the court that Cohen had previously lied to Congress, the FBI, and during his guilty pleas. Cohen acknowledged these lies but attempted to explain them away as misunderstandings or differences in interpretation. Blanche also pressed Cohen on his claims of being forced to plead guilty, pointing out that Cohen had denied any coercion during the plea process. This line of questioning was aimed at showing inconsistencies in Cohen’s statements about his guilty pleas, further undermining his credibility.

Financial Dealings and Concealment

The defense then delved into Cohen’s financial dealings, specifically his use of a home equity line of credit (HELOC) to pay Stormy Daniels. Cohen confirmed that he used the HELOC to conceal the payment from his wife. Blanche suggested that Cohen had instructed others to delete communications, further casting doubt on his honesty. Cohen admitted he likely instructed others to delete messages but could not recall specifics.

Seeking a Pardon

Blanche then addressed Cohen’s interactions with the media and his statements about seeking a pardon from Trump. Despite Cohen’s public denials, it was revealed that he had his lawyers explore the possibility of a preemptive pardon. This contradiction further damaged Cohen’s credibility, indicating he was willing to lie to extricate himself from legal trouble.

Breaks and Strategic Interruptions

Judge Merchan called for a break, giving the prosecution time to recover. Upon returning, the prosecution requested a curative instruction to clarify the timing of Trump’s indictment being unsealed, aiming to mitigate any confusion among the jurors. Blanche’s aggressive questioning exposed Cohen’s unreliable nature, casting doubt on the credibility of his entire testimony. The frequent objections and sidebars added to the drama, reflecting the high stakes of this significant trial.

Specific Incidents and Inconsistencies

Blanche questioned Cohen about his meetings with the special counsel Robert Mueller, noting that Southern District of New York prosecutors were also present. This highlighted the lack of independence in the Special Counsel’s investigation. Blanche pointed out Cohen’s attempts to reduce his supervised release term multiple times and discrepancies in his statements about refusing a 5K cooperation agreement. Cohen admitted these discrepancies but insisted he had cooperated.

Blanche brought up Cohen’s desire to work in the White House, including conversations about potential roles such as Chief of Staff and Attorney General. Cohen’s conflicting statements about his ambitions were revealed through interactions with political figures and fundraisers, illustrating his opportunistic nature.

Phone Call and Memory Lapses

The cross-examination then focused on a significant phone call Cohen made to Keith Schiller on October 24, 2016. Cohen claimed this call was about coordinating the Stormy Daniels case. However, Blanche revealed that Cohen had also mentioned receiving harassing calls from pranksters during the same period, suggesting Cohen’s narrative was inconsistent. Cohen initially didn’t recall the harassment but then acknowledged it when presented with specific details.

Blanche scrutinized Cohen’s account, emphasizing that Cohen had previously testified the call was solely about Stormy Daniels. Evidence showed the call also involved discussing the harassing calls, further undermining Cohen’s credibility. Blanche accused Cohen of lying, as Cohen struggled to reconcile his previous testimony with the new evidence.

Recording Conversations Unethically

Blanche revealed Cohen’s habit of recording conversations without the other parties’ knowledge, questioning the ethics of this practice given Cohen’s role as a lawyer. Cohen’s justifications for his actions further eroded his credibility. The defense attorney also highlighted Cohen’s efforts to suppress stories and manipulate media coverage for Trump and himself.

Non-Disclosure Agreement and Final Questions

Blanche addressed an NDA involving Trump, emphasizing that Trump never signed it. Cohen acknowledged the pseudonyms used in the contract, created by him and Keith Davidson. Blanche highlighted Cohen’s legal work for the Trump Organization, pointing out the lack of a formal retainer agreement.

As the court adjourned, Cohen’s credibility had been repeatedly called into question. The defense’s strategy was clear: portray Cohen as a habitual liar whose testimony could not be trusted. This approach seemed effective, as Cohen struggled to maintain consistency under intense scrutiny. The judge announced plans for closing arguments and final witnesses, setting the stage for the next phase of the trial.

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