Trump’s defense pressures Cohen for his crimes and lies in trial against the former president

Trump’s defense pressures Cohen for his crimes and lies in trial against the former president
Trump’s defense pressures Cohen for his crimes and lies in trial against the former president

NEW YORK (AP) — As prosecutors’ case against Donald Trump, accusing him of making hush money payments, nears its end, the former president’s defense attorneys on Thursday pressed his former lawyer, Cohen, for his criminal record and his previous lies to try to convince the jury not to believe the prosecution’s star witness.

Cohen returned to the stand to testify for the third time, and defense attorneys portrayed Cohen, once Trump’s confidant and now his enemy, as a jilted former employee who would say anything to put the presumptive Republican nominee behind bars.

Cohen is the prosecution’s final witness, at least for now, as it tries to prove that Trump conspired to suppress a damaging story he feared would derail his 2016 presidential campaign, then falsified business records to cover it up. Cohen’s cross-examination is a crucial moment for Trump’s team to try to undermine the former lawyer’s credibility, which could determine the former president’s fate in the case.

Under questioning by defense attorney Todd Blanche, Cohen admitted lying under oath when he pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal crimes, including tax fraud, as well as lying to Congress about work he did on an estate deal. Trump’s roots in .

“It was a lie, right?” Blanche asked Cohen about whether he lied to the late U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III at a court hearing when he told him he was not pressured to plead guilty.

“Correct,” Cohen said.

After appearing as a witness for several days, Cohen put Trump directly at the center of an alleged plot to conceal negative stories in order to avoid damage to his campaign to reach the White House. Cohen told jurors that Trump promised to reimburse him for the money he contributed and that he received constant updates about his efforts to silence women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with him. Trump denies the women’s claims.

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Richer reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Jill Colvin, Jake Offenhartz and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.

 
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