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US: Donald Trump’s former lawyer wants him convicted in ‘hush money’ case

First Published: 15th May, 2024 9:11 IST

Trump said, "'Don't worry. I'm the president of the United States,'" according to Cohen.

A day after Michael Cohen, the erstwhile lawyer of ex-President Donald Trump testified against his former boss, he faced an intense cross-examination by the defence lawyers in the hush money trial on Tuesday (local time), CNN reported.
In one of the major takeaways, Cohen admitted that he wants Trump to be convicted in the case.

As the fiery cross-examination started, Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche asked Cohen about comments he made on social media, including one in which he said ‘Trump belongs in a cage’.
On being asked if he wanted Trump to be convicted, Cohen answered “sure”, according to CNN.
The former Trump aide admitted that he continued to pressure people like attorney Keith Davidson in 2018 to lie about the deals with Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stormy Daniels. He said he continued to lie “out of loyalty and in order to protect him (Trump).”
Recalling being raided by the FBI in 2018, Cohen said he was “concerned, despondent, angry”. He claimed when he spoke to Trump about the case, he reassured him after which Cohen continued to be in Trump’s camp
Trump said, “‘Don’t worry. I’m the president of the United States,'” according to Cohen.

Speaking about Trump, Cohen said he “admired him tremendously.” But, he later acknowledged that he changed his views about his former boss when Trump’s attorney pointed out Cohen’s 2019 comments to Congress that Trump had potentially committed a variety of financial crimes.
Describing his fallout, Cohen said he pleaded guilty after talking to his family and deciding he “would not lie for President Trump anymore.”
Meanwhile, Cohen will be the last witness to testify for the prosecution, CNN reported citing the court transcript.
Blanche said he expects the cross-examination of Cohen “will continue until the end of the day Thursday,” according to the transcript. Blanche also said it is not clear if Trump would testify.
Earlier on Monday, Cohen, while testifying in the case, admitted that he “lied and bullied” on behalf of his former boss. He also said that Trump authorised the payment of ‘hush money’.
Notably, Trump wanted to end the gag order against him in the hush money criminal trial, but it was denied by a New York appeals court. Trump said that the gag order implemented by Judge Juan Merchan is “unfair” to him and should be lifted.
Trump is accused of falsifying business records related to a hush-money deal with an adult film actress made ahead of the 2016 election. Trump, however, has pleaded not guilty, denying any such encounter and calling the charges “politically motivated.”
According to prosecutors’ formulation, Donald Trump skirted campaign finance laws by funneling a payment of USD 130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels through Michael Cohen, his attorney, and then falsely claiming that the money used to repay Cohen was for legal work. (ANI)

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