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Trump lawyer yells at Michael Cohen in cross-examination over call about Stormy Daniels

Michael Cohen is asked about taking an oath as he is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during former U.S. President Donald Trump’s criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. May 16, 2024 in this courtroom sketch. 

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

A defense attorney for Donald Trump yelled at prosecution witness Michael Cohen during cross-examination,saying Cohen’s claim about a 2016 phone call at issue in the former president’s criminal hush money trial “was a lie!”

Defense lawyer Todd Blanche questioned Cohen about an Oct. 24, 2016, call he made to Trump in which Cohen said he had gotten porn star Stormy Daniels to agree to avoid going public with her claim of having sex with Trump. Blanche demanded to know whether Cohen lied about that call.

Blanche confronted Cohen with text messages from that same day that suggested he was calling then-Trump Organization security chief Keith Schiller that night because of concerns about harassing text messages Cohen was receiving as Trump ran for president that year.

“I believe I also spoke to Mr. Trump about the Stormy Daniels matter,” Cohen told Blanche in Manhattan Supreme Court.

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Blanche then said, “We are not asking what you believe.”

“The jury doesn’t want to hear what you think!” Blanche said.

Blanche’s dramatic display of emotion came after hours of much lower-key and sometimes confusing cross-examination for Cohen, who for years served as Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer.

Cohen has admitted he paid Daniels $130,000 before the November 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged tryst with Trump a decade earlier to avoid the story damaging Trump’s chances in the election.

He said he did so at the direction of Trump, who is charged in the case with falsifying business records related to his and his company’s reimbursement to Cohen for the Daniels payout.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump listens as Michael Cohen is asked about taking an oath as he is cross-examined by defense lawyer Todd Blanche during Trump’s criminal trial on charges that he falsified business records to conceal money paid to silence porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016, in Manhattan state court in New York City, U.S. May 16, 2024 in this courtroom sketch.

Jane Rosenberg | Reuters

Cohen is expected to be the last witness for prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

It is not clear if Trump’s lawyers will call any witnesses of their own.

Either way, jurors could start deliberations in the case next week.

Trump, who denies having sex with Daniels, is the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

This is developing news. Please check back for updates throughout the day.

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