Summations Scheduled as Trump Trial Nears End

53 mins ago

Mr. Blanche said any rebuttal witnesses they seek to call will be short testimonies. He said the decision to call President Trump to the witness stand was one “we need to think through.”

Prosecutors have said Mr. Cohen is their last witness, and his testimony will finish up on Monday.

Justice Merchan told the parties to prepare to begin summations on Tuesday.

1 hour ago

Attorneys met with the judge to discuss expert testimony by defense witnesses.

We would touch on basic statutory definitions, and then there are some phrases within those definitions that we think it’s important the jury get some guidance on,” said defense attorney Emil Bove.

“‘For the purpose of influencing any election for federal office’—that’s a statutory phrase,” Mr. Bove said. “The term ‘expenditure,’ and the term ‘coordinating expenditure’ are what we think would be the focus.”

1 hour ago

Common Cause had filed a complaint with federal agencies arguing that Mr. Cohen’s payment to Ms. Clifford violated campaign finance law.

Mr. Cohen confirmed he shared the complaint with attorneys before it was public.

“You were very angry that the complaint had been filed?” Mr. Blanche asked. “And at that point you were sick of having to defend yourself from these frivolous allegations.”

1 hour ago

 

Mr. Cohen confirmed he had done work for the Trump family, but was officially an employee of The Trump Organization.

“And you never had a retainer agreement with those individuals, did you?”  Mr. Blanche asked.

1 hour ago

After a short break, Mr. Blanche asked Mr. Cohen about the Stormy Daniels nondisclosure agreement.

Mr. Cohen said he had learned from Mr. Davidson that ABC and the Daily Beast were interested in buying it.

Mr. Cohen said he spoke to John Santucci of ABC News.

1 hour ago

Mr. Blanche asked about the secret recording Mr. Cohen made in Mr. Trump’s office. Mr. Cohen confirmed he picked up a call from Capital One Bank in the middle of the conversation, and the phone call was picked up on the recording.

Mr. Cohen also confirmed he used encrypted apps to keep conversations confidential, but sent NDAs through email/

2 hours ago

 

Mr. Blanche questioned Mr. Cohen about the story former Trump building doorman Dino Sajudin shopped around alleging Mr. Trump fathered a child out of wedlock. The story was purchased and Mr. Sajudin signed a nondisclosure agreement and the story was later confirmed false.

“You previously told law enforcement that he [President Trump] told you that he was concerned about the story because it involved people that still worked for him, and work for him, correct?” Mr. Blanche asked.

2 hours ago

 

“There were 95 secret recordings on your iPhone,” Mr. Blanche said, referring to conversations Mr. Cohen recorded without the other party’s knowledge.

“Correct,” Mr. Cohen said.

2 hours ago

 

Mr. Cohen said he met New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman more than 20 years ago.

“You asked her to write positive stories about you?” Mr. Blanche asked.

2 hours ago

 

Mr. Cohen confirmed that he created the website ShouldTrumpRun.com and worked with the National Enquirer to get the story out.

“How do you go about getting a reporter or a newspaper or an interviewer to say positive things about you or about the Trump Organization?” Mr. Blanche asked.

2 hours ago

Mr. Blanche prepared documents for Justice Merchan, letting him know how he was planning to ask again questions about Mr. Cohen being informed of the indictment.

Prosecuting attorney Joshua Steinglass argued it would be better for the judge to “clarify the record and remove any suggestion that there was some sort of impropriety. I think the questions were entirely proper.”

“The detective said they told the New York Times before they told you, ‘nevertheless it’s done,'” Mr. Blanche said. “So I wasn’t doing anything other than trying to elicit the fact, which is entirely probative, that a detective saw fit to tell the witness that it’s ‘done.'”

4 hours ago

Mr. Blanche questioned Mr. Cohen about conversations in 2016. Mr. Cohen confirmed he had called bodyguard Keith Schiller because he wanted to speak to President Trump on Oct. 24, 2016, but did not recall if he told prosecutors this date.

Mr. Blanche referred to notes from that meeting and prosecutors objected.

Mr. Blanche referred to an incident where Mr. Cohen got a series of harassing calls, and Mr. Cohen texted the number back. The caller tried to apologize and Mr. Cohen wrote, “you’re going to have to explain that to the Secret Service,” to which the anonymous caller texted back “I didn’t do it. I’m 14. Please don’t do this.”

4 hours ago

Mr. Cohen admitted he had used AI to make up cases to argue his case for early release.

“Do you recall that there were fake cases, meaning fake legal cases, included in the letter for that application?” Mr. Blanche asked.

“I used an AI tool … created a whole bunch of phantom results,” Mr. Cohen said. “And then I provided to my counsel these three cases that were directly on point, for why supervised release for me, in the circumstances, was just and proper. And I provided it to him, and he included it in the document, and those cases were inaccurate.”

5 hours ago

 

Mr. Blanche asked Mr. Cohen about his desire to work at the White House. Mr. Cohen had told prosecutors in earlier testimony he had conversations with a lot of people about working for President Trump in the White House, and would have liked to been considered for the chief of staff position.

“I would have liked to be considered for ego purposes,” Mr. Cohen said.

5 hours ago

Mr. Blanche continued to question Mr. Cohen about his efforts to reduce sentencing. Mr. Cohen confirmed he had met with various prosecution teams and the meetings did not result in a cooperation agreement.

“Since you’ve been released from prison, technically, you have made several attempts to be released from your supervised release early, correct?” Mr. Blanche asked.

“Correct,” Mr. Cohen said. He confirmed he has made multiple motions in court since his case was reassigned to a new judge.

5 hours ago

Attorneys conferred with the judge regarding Mr. Blanche’s line of questioning on the date of the unsealing of the indictment. Prosecutors argued it had left an impression on the jury there was something improper, and the judge allowed Mr. Blanche to elicit testimony about the date it was unsealed.

“Why don’t we see if you are able to address it properly,” Justice Merchan told Mr. Blanche.

Jurors have said they cannot work next Wednesday, so court with not be in session May 22.

5 hours ago

Mr. Cohen had previously stated “I have never asked for, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.”

He confirmed in court he never asked for one, before affirming he asked his attorneys to explore the possibility.

“I never asked for it,” he said.

6 hours ago

Mr. Blanche questioned Mr. Cohen’s intention to take “responsibility” with his guilty plea,  pointing to his ongoing efforts to reduce his sentences.

“You agree with me that neither you nor your lawyer told Judge Pauley that you had lied to him?” Mr. Blanche said.

“That’s correct,” Mr. Cohen said.

6 hours ago

Mr. Blanche questioned Mr. Cohen about his pleading guilty to tax evasion and submitting false statements to a bank.

“Now, no one put pressure on you to make false statements or lie under oath, correct?” Mr. Blanche asked.

Mr. Cohen repeated his explanations that he only had 48 hours to take a guilty plea before an indictment would be brought, and his wife would have been charged. He said he didn’t believe he should have been criminally charged. During direct examination, prosecutors had given Mr. Cohen the opportunity to explain an incident last fall when he testified he lied during his guilty plea, and Mr. Cohen said he did not dispute the underlying facts but did not believe he should have been charged.

6 hours ago

Mr. Blanche asked Mr. Cohen about the oath he swore every time he was deposed, and Mr. Cohen confirmed it was the same oath. He confirmed he is instructed during this process that he cannot make a false statement, and it would be a federal crime.

“You lied about the Moscow Project, correct?” Mr. Blanche said.

“Yes sir,” Mr. Cohen said.

6 hours ago

Mr. Cohen confirmed he spoke about it on his podcast as well.

“I want to thank the Manhattan DA’s office and their fearless leader Alvin Bragg … What an embarrassment it is to the office of the presidency!” he said in a podcast episode.

“That wasn’t the first time you said we wanted President Trump to get a taste of what you went through,” Mr. Blanche said.

7 hours ago

Mr. Cohen did an interview with CNN the same day the indictment was unsealed, and said on TV that the case was like “David and Goliath.” He made the remarks before the indictment was unsealed after learning about it in a New York Times article.

“Now that was at the same time that the Manhattan DA’s office was telling you not to do TV, correct?” Mr. Blanche asked.

“Correct,” Mr. Cohen said.

7 hours ago

Defense attorney Todd Blanche continued questioning Mr. Cohen, asking about the process by which Mr. Cohen’s phones were given to the district attorney’s office.

Mr. Blanche sought to introduce texts sent to Mr. Cohen by detectives from the district attorney’s office who picked up his phones, and prosecutors objected.

Mr. Cohen confirmed the texts were sent around the time he testified before a grand jury in this case. Mr. Cohen had asked for a heads up about an indictment of President Trump.

7 hours ago

Lawyers are in a long sidebar with Justice Merchan, discussing the schedule for the remainder of the trial.

There was wide anticipation among reporters gathered outside the courthouse this morning about how quickly Michael Cohen’s cross-examination and re-direct will wrap up, on the last day of prosecution testimony, and whom the defense might put on the stand in the trial’s remaining days. 

“I apologize for all the whispering but I think we’re ready to get started,” Justice Merchan said.

7 hours ago

More allies are expected to show up in court to support President Trump on Thursday, with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) spotted as President Trump gave morning remarks to the press corps.

He said his poll numbers were “through the roof” despite having campaigning limited by the trial, and blasted the prosecutors and judge for what he claimed was political motivations.

“A lead person from the DOJ is running this trial, so this is a Biden trial,” he said.

8 hours ago

President Trump has appealed his gag order to the state’s top court, the New York Court of Appeals.

Earlier this week, the appellate division of the New York Supreme Court denied President Trump’s appeal of the gag order imposed by Justice Juan Merchan.

 

10 hours ago

Michael Cohen will return to the witness stand for cross-examination as prosecutors say they plan to call no more witnesses.

Mr. Cohen is the prosecution’s most critical witness, as he is the only one that has testified about personal knowledge of former President Donald Trump’s knowledge and involvement of an alleged payment scheme to influence the 2016 elections.

President Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records for 11 checks cut to Mr. Cohen, which prosecutors allege were falsely categorized as legal expenses in order to hide payment to an adult film actress to prevent stories about an alleged affair from being published on the eve of the 2016 presidential elections.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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