Judge Asks Parties to Set Definition for Alleged Trump Crime

9 mins ago

Mr. Blanche asked about the hiring of Marc Kasowitz as President Trump’s personal attorney when special counsel Robert Mueller began his investigation.

Mr. Cohen confirmed this had not changed his role or relationship with president Trump. He said the two attorneys were in touch, with Mr. Cohen actively reviewing subpoenaed documents in January and February, and that he had no part in selecting Mr. Kasowitz.

Mr. Cohen also confirmed working with First Lady Melania Trump on multiple occasions in February, March, and April 2017.

33 mins ago

Mr. Cohen confirmed that Mr. Weisselberg had called the $420,000 a retainer, and asked him to send in invoices, but that he was not going to have a retainer going forward.

Mr. Cohen said those were the only two conversations he had with Mr. Weisselberg about his role as Mr. Trump’s attorney.

Mr. Blanche showed Mr. Cohen an email from Mr. Weisselberg to Mr. Cohen on Jan. 31, 2017, asking him to “please prepare the agreement we discussed.”

36 mins ago

Mr. Blanche asked Mr. Cohen about the $50,000 reimbursement for Red Finch polling, when Mr. Cohen and former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg came to a $420,000 agreement.

Mr. Cohen confirmed he had originally paid his Red Finch connection $20,000 in cash, and he had it in a brown paper bag.

“He still wanted the $30,000, this placated him for the time being. I still needed his services. So I gave him the amount he needed for his out of pocket expenses,” Mr. Cohen said.

45 mins ago

Mr. Cohen previously testified he had two phone calls with then-candidate Trump the morning of Oct. 26, 2016.

“Now you testified on direct that the reason you spoke with President Trump on that day was you needed his approval for what you were doing,” Mr. Blanche said. “You did not want Ms. Daniels to sell her story to the Daily Mail, and you wanted his approval?”

“That’s correct,” Mr. Cohen said.

53 mins ago

Mr. Blanche followed up with questions confirming Mr. Cohen’s earlier answers in testimony. Then he asked about Mr. Cohen’s taxi medallion business.

Mr. Cohen confirmed several messages exchanged around Oct. 13, 2016, including with his medallion agent Mr. Friedman.

“You were having issues with Mr. Friedman paying you during that time period,” Mr. Blanche asked.

1 hour ago

Mr. Cohen said he met with Rep. Dan Goldman twice.

Mr. Goldman, a critic of President Trump, has been commenting on the trial in the media.

1 hour ago

Mr. Cohen continued his testimony under cross-examination. He said he did not speak with reporters about the case.

Mr. Cohen said he since the beginning of the year, he has spoken to prosecutors close to 20 times. He last met with them about 10 days ago.

“When you met with the prosecutors again, they asked you questions similar to what they asked you Monday and Tuesday?” defense attorney Todd Blanche asked.

1 hour ago

Justice Merchan ordered the parties to draft definitions to give to the other side and come to an agreement.

“The simpler the better,” he said. “If the two sides can agree on the definitions of those terms, that’s all the better. You decide who wants to draft it and who wants to do a redline, and you can send it to me.”

1 hour ago

Defense attorney Emil Bove argued that testimony limited to definitions of these terms would not help the jury much.

“The tough spot that we’re in right now is that your honor has not indicated a firm intention to instruct the jury on FECA,” Mr. Bove said. “If you’re willing to give us any sense on whether you’re going to instruct the jury on these issues, we would come to the pre-charge conference … and we would resolve that at the charge conference.”

Justice Merchan said that his position was that “I often think that less is better.”

1 hour ago

Last week, defense attorneys asked the court to allow expert testimony from Bradley Smith, a former FEC commissioner, on terms in the statutes prosecutors are using in the case.

The judge said the expert would not be allowed to offer interpretation of the law, such as what it means to violate a statute in “for the purpose of influencing the election.” Justice Merchan said if the defense were allowed to offer an interpretation of the law, he would have to allow the prosecutors to do so as well, and “this would result in a battle of experts” that would confuse rather than enlighten the jury.

“Therefore, I again invite you to submit proposed jury instructions,” he told the parties.

1 hour ago

Defense attorney Todd Blanche sought to submit an email communication between an associate of Robert Costello’s and Michael Cohen.

“That’s direct impeachment to what Mr. Cohen testified no Tuedsay, he testified that he didn’t really feel like he clicked with Mr. Costello,” Mr. Blanche said. The associate expressed they were pleased with what was discussed with Mr. Cohen and requested a follow-up call.

Last week, prosecutors showed in court several emails between Mr. Costello and Mr. Cohen, and Mr. Cohen testified that he did not trust Mr. Costello, whom he viewed as a spy for Rudy Giuliani who would report anything Mr. Cohen said back to Mr. Costello.

1 hour ago

Justice Merchan said that issues attorneys brought up over the weekend made it clear they weren’t ready for summations on Tuedsay.

“It looks like we’ll be finishing up evidence this week so we can have summations next week,” he said.

The parties submitted and objected to exhibits shown to the judge.

1 hour ago

President Trump said he had plans to make a campaign stop this morning before he was alerted that court would convene early today.

“I’m here instead of campaigning. As you know, I was supposed to be in a very different state this morning, when the judge actually decided to call it early and get it looks like we’re gonna have a very big gap between days and it’s going to be determined right now in court,” he said.

“But we’re here about an hour early today. I was supposed to be making the speech. for political purposes. I’m not allowed to have anything to do with politics because I’m sitting in a very freezing cold, dark room for the last four weeks. It’s very unfair. They have no case to have no crime.”

1 hour ago

Flanking former President Donald Trump today are South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, Rep. Eric Burlison, Rep. Andrew Clyde, Rep. Mary Miller, Rep. Keith Self, John Coale, Alan Dershowitz, Will Scharf, Steve Witkoff, Bernie Kerik, Kash Patel, Vernon Jones, Jerry Kassar, Chuck Zito, per the Trump campaign.

Trump Trial Coming to a Close as Trump Testimony Seems Unlikely
Former President Donald Trump attends his trial at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City, on May 14, 2024. (Michael M. Santiago/Pool/AFP)

As the defense tries to keep prosecutors guessing about whether former President Donald Trump will take the witness stand to defend himself in his criminal trial in New York, New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan has instructed the parties to prepare for the upcoming week assuming the testimony may not happen.

“Please be prepared to begin summations on Tuesday,” the judge told attorneys last Friday.

On Friday, prosecutors confirmed they would call no more witnesses. Ex-lawyer Michael Cohen will return to the witness exam to wrap up questioning by defense and prosecuting attorneys, and defense lawyers said in court Friday they plan to call a handful of rebuttal witnesses, including experts, whose limited testimonies may be wrapped up within a day.

Why Cohen Poses a Problem for the Prosecution in Trump Trial
(Illustration by The Epoch Times, Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY—Government lawyers in the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump have taken a carefully calculated approach, seeking to balance lengthy testimony from an admitted perjurer with voluminous phone, email, text, and audio records that they are betting a jury in a deep blue city will find objectively reliable, according to legal experts.

Throughout the trial, prosecutors have punctuated their questioning of witnesses with frequent requests to move an item into evidence and show it to the jury, and the judge has rarely said no.

Their painstaking use of records to construct a documentary history of an alleged coverup of a nondisclosure agreement payment—what the prosecution alleges amounts to election fraud—tacitly acknowledges that former Trump lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen is not a witness that most lawyers would normally want make the focus of their case, the experts say.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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