Trump Hush Money Trial: Court adjourns for the week following Michael Cohen's testimony

While Trump's attorney continued to point out Cohen's admitted lies, Cohen stayed composed throughout.
Michael Cohen
Posted at 6:46 AM, May 16, 2024

Court is now adjourned for the week in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial.

Michael Cohen, who was dubbed Trump's "fixer," testified for a third day in the former president's hush money trial Thursday.

Trump's legal team began their questioning of Trump's former lawyer Tuesday afternoon after prosecutors had their turn on Monday and early Tuesday. The trial took its usual Wednesday hiatus.

When questioning resumed on Thursday, the defense attacked Cohen for telling lies, and that was the bulk of the proceedings throughout the day. Trump attorney Todd Blanche noted numerous instances that Cohen admitted to lying, both under oath and in public statements. In November 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.

Earlier in 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to charges of campaign finance fraud, tax fraud and misrepresentation liabilities for a loan.

Former President Donald Trump attends his trial at Manhattan criminal court before his trial

Trump on Trial

What's next for the Trump trial?

Joe St. George
4:17 PM, May 16, 2024

A pivotal moment in the proceedings on Thursday came just before noon, unveiling a trove of text messages and call logs involving Cohen and Keith Schiller, Trump's bodyguard. Cohen had testified on Tuesday that he was contacting Schiller to discuss securing the hush money payments on Trump's behalf. But the defense presented evidence suggesting an alternative motive — that Cohen was contacting Schiller about a purported 14-year-old prank caller that needing handling. Cohen's response changed: he said he didn't remember exactly the conversations from that long ago.

Cohen remained composed throughout questioning.

Cohen is a central figure in the accusations that Trump falsified business records to hide reimbursements to his former attorney for paying porn star Stormy Daniels, Playboy model Karen McDougal, and a former doorman at Trump Tower. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges Trump did it in an attempt to conceal an "illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election" by trying to cover up extramarital affairs.

Trump has described the nature of the payments to Cohen as "a legal expense."

While on the witness stand earlier this week, Cohen talked about his years of loyalty to Trump, noting that he admired him before landing a job as his attorney.

Trump and Biden at 2020 debate.

Presidential Election

Biden, Trump agree to June 27, Sept. 10 debates

Justin Boggs
10:24 AM, May 15, 2024

After leaving the courtroom, Trump once again spoke to reporters, just like he has done all week. He alleged that he didn’t "violate any law" and insisted that "there is a problem with our legal system."

Trump's lawyers had originally planned to finish questioning Cohen on Thursday, but it didn’t go completely to schedule. Now, there will be a three-day break for Trump to attend his son's graduation, with the intention for the defense to finish Cohen's cross-examination on Monday morning.