Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

#TrumpTrial 🧵 Thursday 16 May 2024

Cross-examination of #MichaelCohen resumes, an opportunity for the defense to poke holes in his testimony & perhaps trip up or provoke the state’s key witness. The questioning of Cohen, #Trump’s fmr fixer, is the beginning of the end of Trump’s #criminal trial, which began April 15 & might conclude before Memorial Day weekend at this pace.

#law #CatchAndKill #conspiracy #ElectionInterference #HushMoney #MobTactics #NodFarter #StormyDaniels

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

After is off the stand, the defense will have an opportunity to present its own case, calling witnesses & questioning them to try to seed reasonable doubt within the jury. Prosecutors can then put on additional to rebut expert witness testimony.

Though from what ’s attys have said, it sounds like they aren’t going to bother calling any witnesses or putting on a — I guess they don’t have one.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

arrives in the courtroom, trailed by his son , his lawyers, as well as members of the of Representatives, including & .

The entourage is so large today that some people are being made to sit in the back. Others had to leave & go to Trump’s hold room.

If they do today what was done Tues, I hope Merchan hold Trump in contempt of the .

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

officers explain, yet again, the courtroom's no-cellphone policy to the people here with .

The lawyers and the judge are having one of the longest sidebars that have taken place during this trial, if not the longest. Their voices are louder than usual, though the words they're saying aren't clear.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Before entering the courtroom, potentially violated the forbidding him from talking about prosecutors in the case, other than Bragg. He made what sounded like a reference to Matthew , one of the prosecutors, saying, "a lead person from the is running the trial," & baselessly adding, "So 's office is running this trial." Colangelo USED TO work at the Dept of , & Trump has used similar language to describe him in the past.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

The long sidebar may have been about scheduling issues. The judge just told the jurors that, if they are OK w/it, court may be in session next Wed, despite the fact that the trial is usually off on Wednesdays.

This suggests prosecutors & defense were quibbling over the calendar.
The defense sought to delay the trial many times before it started, & has complained that it was going too fast.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

has been called back to the stand. The jury to be brought in.

atty Todd continues cross-examination.
Blanche asks about texts between Cohen & the DA’s office.

Cohen agrees that texts shown w/ DA investigator are from around same time that he told a grand jury he was going to hold Trump accountable.

We are now on our third sidebar today.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

The Manhattan DA investigator was texting, Jeremy Rosenberg, was reportedly taken off the case after becoming close w/Cohen. asks Cohen about the texts, but Prosecutor Susan asked for a mid-cross , to question Cohen about the .

When she established that the texts had been taken out of context, she called for a . Her objection was sustained, so Blanche is prevented from doing whatever he was trying to do.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

says that he learned that was indicted before the was unsealed in the courtroom, when NYT broke that news in 2023. He says Rosenberg alerted him to that article.
Blanche’s point here seems to be that Rosenberg, the investigator, did something inappropriate, alerting Cohen to the fact that the indictment had been handed up. But NYT broke that news widely before the indictment was unsealed.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

There’s laughing when Justice shoots down Todd , 's lawyer. Blanche asked for a sidebar & got a dismissive “no” from Merchan.

We’ve had 10 objections in <20 mins.

Defense plays a recording of celebrating Trump's indictment on his podcast. His voice is loud & enthusiastic to the point of seeming off-putting.

Some jurors seem uncomfortable.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

seems deflated after hearing that clip. Blanche asks if that was the first time that he had said he wanted to feel what Cohen himself had felt when he was prosecuted. Cohen says that he had expressed that sentiment before.

Reportedly Cohen’s voice sounded truly odd in the podcast clip. Giddy, high-pitched, & speaking so fast that it sounded as if the tape had been artificially sped up.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

plays a 2nd clip of from his podcast, in which he says he hopes “that this man ends up in prison,” & “revenge is a dish best served cold,” & “you better believe I want this man to go down & rot inside for what he did to me & my family.”

Blanche asks Cohen if he believes his podcasts & media interviews played a role in 's . “I took some credit, yes,” he says.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is paying close attention, as clips play of describing how much he hates Trump & wants him to rot in prison.

Prosecution used earlier witnesses to introduce Michael Cohen to the jury as an outsized personality. + Cohen has not been shy on the stand about his hatred of Trump. These clips, while entertaining, might not come as a huge shock to the jury.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is asked if he responded to a post on Truth Social in which attacked Cohen & . He responds: “I’m not on Truth Social, sir.” But when asked if he responded elsewhere by calling Trump “dumbass Donald,” he agrees that he did.

, referring to Cohen’s many instances of testifying in the past, in courts & in Congress, asks him if he swore an oath when he testified. Trump’s lawyers have accused Cohen of lying under oath.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Over the years, has repeatedly admitted to lying to Congress & elsewhere.

asks Cohen to recall the lies he told to Congress about how many times he spoke to about a possible Trump Tower project in . Blanche’s goal is to show the jury Cohen is opportunistic even under oath. However, these were lies that Cohen has said he told to protect Trump.

Blanche: “You knew you were lying, correct?”

Cohen: “Yes”

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

#Blanche has yet to ask #MichaelCohen about anything in connection to the actual case that's on trial.

Trump's lawyers have focused on impeaching the credibility of the prosecution's 2 biggest witnesses, #StormyDaniels & Cohen. Though while Susan #Necheles’s cross-examination of Daniels was largely focused & had an arc, Blanche’s cross-examination of Cohen has been all over the place.

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial #Trump #CatchAndKill #conspiracy #ElectionInterference #HushMoney #MobTactics

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

's strategy seems to be repeating the word “lie” in every other sentence. If you’re a bored juror right now, you are hearing lie, lie, lie, lie. Even if you’re having trouble following the substance of Cohen's various lies, you are hearing an overall picture of dishonesty.
The risk for the defense here is that the jurors are reminded during closing arguments that hired this self-acknowledged liar & made him his lawyer, & hold Trump accountable for that.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is now asking about the search of ’s phones & his hotel room & office in April 2018, & the investigation into taxi medallions that Cohen had. Cohen walks through his partnership w/a man who cooperated w/the investigation, calmly & coherently. Jurors are paying close attention.

Cohen is knowledgeable & articulate about the ins & outs of the NYC taxi industry, even providing the exact number of the medallions allowing taxis to operate.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

This tangent is a strange & seems irrelevant. asks to explain how the taxi medallion business works. Why is this a topic of questioning?

Blanche is hopefully building to some questions about the actual case at hand.

Apparently not, because Blanche moves on to Cohen’s guilty plea in Aug 2018, & gets Cohen to say that he “never denied the underlying facts” of the plea, & that he simply thought he shouldn’t have been charged.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

then asks if prosecutors pressured him to plead guilty, & says his lawyer conveyed that he had only 48 hrs to decide.

Blanche uses the language of the . When Cohen pleaded, he was asked whether anyone had “threatened or induced you to plead guilty.” Blanche links that to Cohen saying his lawyer told him his wife was under threat, & suggests that when Cohen said no to that question, he lied. Cohen agrees that he did.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

notes that said under oath that he accepted responsibility & then later undermined that outside of court. (Something constantly does)

A similar tack tripped Cohen up when he was questioned about his federal guilty pleas at Trump’s trial. He was led into saying he had lied about one of the pleas itself. But earlier in the trial he clarified that he thought he had not been charged,but was not objecting to the underlying facts

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

This case largely rests on tying to knowledge of how the false business records at the center of the case were structured. is portraying Cohen as an indiscriminate liar who changes his story situationally.

Blanche is trying to show that Cohen has not fully taken responsibility for his & blames others, for corruption. However, by showing that Cohen lashing out at the judge & prosecutors, Blanche is making him sound a lot like Trump.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is using ’s claims of widespread corruption — in which Cohen has accused not just Manhattan federal prosecutors but the judge in his case of being out to get him — against him. He is also using his previous testimony that he didn’t commit the to which he pleaded against him.

Blanche finally arrives at the moment that prosecutors sought to prep the jury for: That Cohen said under oath at 's civil trial he had lied to a federal judge.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

All trials involve from other .

That’s the thing about criminals, they work with other criminals.

Duh.

is now demonstrating for the jury that lied under oath for different reasons. By his own admission, it wasn’t only to demonstrate his to . He lied also, Cohen admits, because the stakes affected him personally.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

has already shown w/ 's podcast clips that this case affects Cohen in a deeply personal way & he wants revenge against . This may cause jurors to wonder whether Cohen might be willing to stretch the truth to get it.

Blanche continues to harp on Cohen’s lies to a federal judge, a prosecutor objects several times. The judge sustains. The objections may have been made because Blanche had already asked a version of the same questions.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

So many #HouseRepublicans have gone to NY to support #Trump at his trial that it’s messing w/ #GOP work Capitol Hill, including their partisan fights.

With Reps #AndyBiggs of #Arizona & #AnnaPaulinaLuna & #MikeWaltz of #Florida all at the trial, the #House Oversight has been forced to postpone its planned vote to hold AG Merrick #Garland in #contempt of #Congress. Today’s vote has been pushed back from 11AM to 8PM for members to return to Washington 🙄.

#law #TrumpTrial #HouseRepublicans

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is showing ’s lack of remorse. Cohen has talked publicly about wanting to right the wrongs he committed while working for . Blanche is getting him to say he doesn’t think he should have been charged.

Blanche asks Cohen about blaming a lot of people for the conduct for which he was convicted. Cohen freely acknowledges he has.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

tries to connect having lied in his federal sentencing, when the outcome affected him personally, to his testimony here. “Do you have any doubt in your mind that the outcome of this trial affects you personally?” Blanche asks.

Throughout his cross-examination, Cohen has remained calm. He appeared mildly frustrated once but just shook his head after he answered one of Blanche’s questions.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is now going over the financial transactions that allowed to pay to , perhaps the closest he's gotten to the subject matter of the case.

He notes that Cohen hid those transactions from his wife, apparently seeking to call into question whether Cohen was really as concerned about his family - & his wife — as he suggested when explaining his federal guilty plea.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

asked about a number of different events, including an exchange of public statements w/ Michael , one of 's lawyers, & conversations w/his wife. He ended by asking Cohen if he had deleted his communications w/his wife around that time, & Cohen seemed genuinely stumped. Then Blanche asks if Cohen, around this time, had taken to deleting his texts more generally.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

The defense is trying to suggest that has a history of manipulating the types of phone records that prosecutors have used here to bolster their case.

Blanche seizes on another lie: Cohen had testified years ago that he had never asked for a pardon, but testifies here today - as he did in a deposition - that he did, in fact, direct his lawyers to explore the possibility of a pardon.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

says that has explained the distance between the 2 statements in different ways. At one point, under oath, he said that he had not explored a pardon, his lawyers had. At another point, also under oath, he said that that the seeming disparity stemmed from a semantic distinction between past & present tenses.

Blanche presses Cohen on whether he used semantics in his reply regarding whether he sought a pardon from or not.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

admits he asked his lawyers to explore the possibility, although he testified before a House panel that he would never have accepted one. Cohen points out — correctly, as NYT broke the story — that Trump was dangling pardons to people connected to the special counsel's investigation into the campaign's possible ties to .

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

tries to explain the disparity has been harping on involving if he sought a pardon. Cohen says a pardon was dangled, & he asked his lawyers, “Is this really something that they’re talking about? Can you find out?” But Blanche continues to focus on what he says were Cohen’s lies about the episode.

Blanche may have successfully made Cohen come across as dishonest. But he has yet to succeed in the goal of getting under Cohen’s skin.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Jurors will have to determine when — if ever — began telling the truth. is demonstrating that Cohen told lies, big & small, over a long period of time & for various reasons.

At the same time, prosecutors have & will demonstrate in re-direct & closing arguments that has told lies, big & small, about a number of people & issues in this & other cases.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

In earlier testimony, made ( ally & lawyer who offered services to Cohen in 2018 when he was under investigation) sound as if he were an intermediary for , trying to keep Cohen . is trying to complicate the relationship, asking if Costello told Cohen he had the option to cooperate w/ enforcement.

Reporting is ’s role was convoluted, but Cohen did accept some legal advice from him at that time.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

During the #TrumpTrial morning break, POS #MattGaetz posted an obvious reference to #Trump's Sept 2020 command to the #ProudBoys by writing “Standing back & standing by Mr. President.” 🤬

#WhiteSupremacy #StochasticTerrorism #GagOrder #criminal #law

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

After the break, prosecutors are arguing that #Blanche, early in his questioning, asked questions that seemed to suggest that #Trump's #indictment was still sealed on March 30. The indictment was unsealed that evening, after NYT broke the news. The unsealing allowed the DA’s office to confirm that the news was true.

Prosecutors ask Justice #Merchan to explain this sequence to the jury. Merchan agrees that the jury should be advised.

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial #conspiracy #ElectionInterference

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

decides that can do it in his own questioning. But prosecutors, Matthew & Joshua , argue that it it should come from Merchan because the questions were so misleading.

Merchan tells prosecutors that they can draft a version of an order that the judge himself would give if Blanche’s corrections end up being insufficient.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Justice announces court will not be in session as usual next Wed, bc jurors won’t be free.

, asks to clarify that he has met w/several sets of prosecutors & testimony about their conversations can be confusing. “Help the jury understand that,” he says. “There’s 2 separate prosecutors?”

Cohen confirms that he met w/both the ’s office in DC, during the investigation, & Manhattan federal prosecutors, where Blanche used to work.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

adds a third set of prosecutors met: the Manhattan DA’s office (the prosecutors at this trial) the NY state prosecutors.
(Not sure the point—that Cohen cooperates w/the ?)

Next Blanche questions Cohen about his efforts to have his sentence reduced based on his cooperation w/prosecutors working for the# Russia investigation special counsel, .

What person in jail wouldn’t ask this? what matters is he didn’t get it & cooperated anyway.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is receiving nothing in return for his testimony, other than personal satisfaction if is .

Defense lawyers often attack cooperators by highlighting the benefits they are receiving from cooperating, suggesting that they are acting in their own self-interest & their testimony is tainted. But Cohen hasn't gotten anything.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

tried another line of questioning that didn’t land, having to do w/whether sought a letter in 2018 requesting leniency from federal prosecutors. Cohen says he told his lawyer that he “wasn’t interested” in such a letter, so “let’s not even talk about it.” It didn’t seem as if Blanche got the answer he expected during that exchange.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

It seems to be an attempt to show that didn’t have a cooperation agreement w/SDNY prosecutors when he pleaded guilty in 2018, because he was unwilling to disclose everything he knew about any possible wrongdoing. He would have had to do so in order to get the letter. may have wanted to point out that Cohen wanted to keep some things hidden even as he pleaded guilty.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

#Blanche asks #MichaelCohen if he wanted a job in the #Trump WhiteHouse. Cohen testified to the House in 2019 that he didn’t want one. But other witnesses, like #KeithDavidson, #StormyDaniels's fmr lawyer, testified that Cohen was interested & sad he was being left behind.

Blanche: “You really wanted to work in the White House, correct?”

Cohen:“No sir.”

Blanche says that Cohen specifically wanted to be WH chief of staff, & Cohen again denies it.

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

None of the texts were definitive, but there were a lot of them, & they clearly show that was at least interested in the idea. When was finally named chief of staff, Cohen told his daughter he was disappointed, Blanche shows. Cohen admits here that he was disappointed.

Defense is showing Cohen was again rejected, this time for a job, & is seeking payback. It also shows he lied under oath.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

responds: “I wanted a hybrid position, one where I would have the access to President Trump but not be a White House employee.” It’s a helpful answer for prosecutors, underscoring, as they have said, that Cohen was bent on being close to Trump.

, who has had his eyes closed through much of this so far, is now glaring at Cohen.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

seems to have gained some traction here, & notes that had said he wanted to be chief of staff. “That was for my ego, yes,” Cohen admitted. But now Cohen is reiterating that he wanted to be Trump's personal attorney.

Cohen, is 5 hours into his cross-examination, & is remaining calm, even as Blanche implies there was a series of slights & humiliations that Cohen suffered after ’s election in 2016.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

shows that was less than candid when he said he didn’t want a job, as he goes thru all the people Cohen complained to about being left behind. But it also shows that went out of his way to abuse him.

Blanche asks about an embarrassing episode when Cohen used an AI program to generate legal citations for his previous lawyer. The cases listed by the software weren’t real.

It’s totally irrelevant & seems like it’s brought up just to humiliate him.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

easily & calmly explains what happened. Vohen expected the lawyer to fact-check & edit before submitting the doc to court & the errors were quickly corrected. It was not intentional nor malicious.

moves on & brings up a phone call that Cohen talked about during direct, when he spoke to over Trump’s bodyguard's cellphone. Cohen said that during the conversation, he told Trump that the payment to had been made.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is trying to cast doubt on ’s account, saying it was the first time he had mentioned the call.

Prosecutor objects again, & asks to approach.

After the sidebar conversation w/the judge, Emil , one of Trump's lawyers, returns to the defense table, sits down & whispers something to who shakes his head & scowls.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

starts a long series of questions about whether received harassing phone calls from a 14-yr-old prankster in Oct 2016. [WTF?] He seems to be suggesting an alt reason for Cohen's call to , ’s bodyguard.

Cohen had testified he made that call to inform Trump of the payment to . Blanche is suggesting to jurors that Cohen lied about the call's purpose.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Defense: You asked Schiller who to speak to on harassing texts & he says call me, then you call him back at 8:02 for a minute thirty... then you text him the number of the 14-yr-old... You said the Oct 24th call was not w/ …. “That was a lie."

Blanche suggests that Cohen was not reporting the payment to but reporting that he was being pranked by a teenager. (Seriously?)

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

, emphasizing his point, raises his finger & his voice gets higher. He is suggesting it is ridiculous that might have simultaneously reported a prankster to & told that a payment had been made.
(This whole thing is ridiculous)

Blanche is trying to get Cohen to crack, but he’s holding firm. “You can admit,” Blanche says, that you lied. “No sir, I can’t,” Cohen responds, sticking to his story.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

scolds : “You did not talk to President on that night. You talked to about what we just went through.”

Cohen, calmly: "I'm not certain that is accurate." Adding, "I believe I spoke to Mr. Trump about the matter."

Blanche shot back: "We are not asking for your belief. This jury does not want to hear what you think happened."

Justice recesses the court for lunch until 2:15 PM US ET.

tshirtman,
@tshirtman@mas.to avatar

@Nonilex lol, what is the role of a witness already? 😆

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Meanwhile …

Chaos ensued when elected who beckoned to NY for his trial.

Demonstrators — both pro- & anti-Trump — crowded in w/reporters inside the protest area designated by the NYPD as several of Trump’s allies in Congress made statements.

One man shouted throughout, deriding their support for Trump & calling them out by name.
Another group shouted in support of the members.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

A man w/a sign reading “GTFO of NYC” on one side & “Bootlickers” on the other was removed by police.

Another man approached Rep & handed her a “Beetlejuice” program, & asked for her to sign it — poking fun at when she was kicked out of the musical for outrageous & disruptive behavior — was blocked by security.

Across the street, someone else could clearly be heard yelling “Matt Gaetz is a pedophile.”

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Almost a dozen showed up at the courthouse on Thurs, including trolls Reps & of ; of ; & Rep of . They said they were there to speak on behalf of because a has barred him from speaking for himself.

“We are here of our own volition [ok], because there are things we can say that President Trump is unjustly not allowed to say,” said outside the courthouse.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

control the by such a slim margin, 217-213, that just 2 defections can sink even when all members are present — just a few absences can erase their majority altogether. The show of support for from such a large group meant that for much of Thurs, the GOP handed the majority to .

had a vote scheduled for Thurs to rebuke President for pausing an arms shipment to & compel his admin to deliver weapons.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

The bill was designed to divide & embarrass , & had no chance of passing the or becoming . But w/so many off campus demonstrating their fealty to , they left open the possibility that the party’s own messaging bill gets defeated. Democratic leaders in the had advised their members to vote “no,” calling the measure “another partisan stunt by Extreme Republicans who are determined to hurt President Biden politically.”

Nonilex, (edited )
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

The #Republicans that showed up to the #TrumpTrial today in Manhattan were lawmakers who are all about disrupting legislative business & have no issue w/embarrassing their own party on the #House floor. It included many #HouseFreedomCaucus members who have frozen the chamber for days on end, most recently voting down their party’s own rules as an act of protest.

Idiots.

#MAGA #law #Trump #GagOrder #StochasticTerrorism #RepublicanDysfunction #VoteBlue #governance

cynblogger,
@cynblogger@sfba.social avatar

@Nonilex
…and yet, it’s likely all, or almost all, will be re-elected in November. Too many Republican voters are either willfully ignorant re their Representatives’ conduct or they’re all in a masochistic and/or Munchausen syndrome by proxy relationship. For example, how many Bills has Jordan’s passed in his years in congress? 🙄

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

resumes

, defense lawyer, picks up w/ trying to clean up the indictment unsealing timing w/ as directed by Merchan earlier. The prosecution objects to a follow-up, & the judge tells the lawyers to approach.

So Blanche isn’t quite getting it right.

Blanche tries again to remove the implication that the DA gave Cohen advanced info ahead of the NYT story.

The DA sought to have the original line of questioning stricken.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

admitted into evidence ’s texts w/ a 14-yr-old harasser, which occurred on 24 Oct, 2016 until roughly 7:24PM, when Cohen wrote: “Please have your parent or guardian contact me before secret service reaches out them.”

Blanche is now driving home that Cohen threatened to turn the Secret Service on a prank caller who said they were 14 yrs old.

Totally irrelevant.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

#MichaelCohen is now speaking directly to the #jury about his longstanding relationship w/ #journalists.

#Blanche is going back in time, asking Cohen about positive stories he had planted, not just about #Trump but also about himself.

He says that reporters would often call him or the #TrumpOrganization asking for comment. He said he would immediately go to Trump’s office & they would come up w/a crafted response that he would take back to the reporter.

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

adds that it was his routine to advise about these matters, because if the resulting story was not to his liking, “it would cause him to blow up at me” & “it would probably be the end of my job.”

is trying to get Cohen to say that while working for Trump, he gave statements to reporters w/o checking in w/his boss. Cohen is refusing to concede this, & says that he would always talk to Trump about every story.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

is trying to establish the idea for the jury that was a rogue agent who did things w/o consulting w/ -- which defense says is what happened w/the payment.

Blanche notes that Cohen often frustrated campaign ofcls w/statements he made to the press during the 2016 campaign. Cohen parries that by saying Trump had told them that Cohen reported to him.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Per Rebecca Shabad:

Earlier, prosecutor Susan raised an issue w/ Judge saying that on Tues, some of ’s guests filed into the courtroom in the middle of direct examination w/their security detail in tow.

"And I noticed that some of his guests are already here today w/their security detail," Hoffinger said, acc/to the released transcript. "But we would just ask that they not be allowed to file in, in the middle of Mr. Blanche’s cross-examination."

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

said, "I would advise that that not happen."

lawyer said, "Your Honor, I have less than zero control over what is happening on anything or anyone that’s behind me when I am crossing a witness."

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

continues questioning about his relationships w/ reporters over the years naming Maggie Haberman of The NYT & Katy Tur of MSNBC.

Cohen confirmed that he communicated w/ reporters over the phone & via text, & he would occasionally record phone calls w/ members of the press w/o their knowledge, including former CNN chief Jeff Zucker.
(reminder NY is a one party consent state)

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

also gets Cohen to say that he sent a recording of somebody else to Haberman when she was reporting on a story.

said he sometimes gave scoops to Haberman, who has covered extensively for years & wrote a biography of him.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Meanwhile …

🤬 Sen. says case 'doesn't make sense'

, supposedly a Democrat from West Virginia, told reporters today that 's trial "doesn't make sense."

When asked whether he believes Trump should be convicted in any case, Manchin responded that "there are 2 really solid cases: January 6 & Georgia."
"Everything else doesn't really make sense," he added as a reporter directly asked about the case in NY.

JFC! Manchin, get out of the way!

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

asks having specific memories of calls from 8 yrs ago. Cohen responds that the reason he remembers them is because he’s been talking about the conversations for 6 yrs.

Blanche digs in, asking if Cohen has been talking about the specific phone calls he has been testifying about for 6 yrs. Blanche is performing for & the jury laying his mock disbelief on thick, his tone is derisive & he’s acting as if Cohen's testimony is ridiculous.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

’s eyes are glued to & they’re open for once.

is trying to damage prosecution’s argument that Trump’s team orchestrated the payments to the 2016 election. Blanche has already gotten Cohen to confirm under oath that Trump was worried about the story IN PART because of his wife & children.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Importantly the falsified documents at issue in the weren’t to hide Trump’s affair , but the .

Blanche asks about the story about McDougal: “President Trump at least initially, did not think it would hurt him, correct?”

: “Initially, yes.”

Though, Cohen concedes that ONE of the things Trump was worried about w/that story was his wife & children — that was a nearly year long affair while Melania was preggers so yeah.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

previously testified that in June 2016, he was negotiating w/ The & over her story about having had an affair w/ . On the stand now, as digs in about whether he can remember a specific call from that year, Cohen says that seeing prosecutors’ other evidence has jogged his memory about calls he had back then. (That’s memory for ya)

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

asks about what it meant for to pay in "cash," noting that it did not necessarily refer to green paper money, but to a payment that was made directly & not through financing. Blanche is referencing the recording heard earlier in the trial in which Trump directs him to “pay in cash.”

Blanche asks Cohen if Trump often made deals to pay cash for buildings or properties.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

#Blanche may be suggesting that when #Trump referred to "cash" in that recording, he could have been referencing any number of payments.

(But the recording specifically
said “our friend David” meaning #Pecker)

Trump aides #BorisEpshteyn & #KarolineLeavitt smile at this line of questioning w/ #MichaelCohen (maybe it was their idea)

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial #CatchAndKill #conspiracy #ElectionInterference #HushMoney #MobTactics

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

notes that while has talked a lot about using Signal, an encrypted app that makes use of disappearing messages, many of the sensitive conversations that we’ve seen & heard about in this trial just took place over text.
(Probably because having not disappeared, they could be admitted into evidence. Duh.)

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

#Blanche questions #MichaelCohen again on his interactions w/ reporters when he worked for #Trump.

Blanche asks about negotiations he had w/ ABC News reporter John Santucci regarding the #StormyDaniels story.

Blanche is restating his opening argument point that NDAs were typical among the wealthy & famous & that they were not illegal. (No one has said otherwise)

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial #CatchAndKill #conspiracy #ElectionInterference #HushMoney #MobTactics

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

shows the contract that struck w/ . He gets Cohen to agree it’s a “perfectly legal contract.” He’s raises his voice for emphasis — trying to make the feel like this arrangement was business as usual.

It may be usual to have NDAs, but this was unusual for other reasons.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

#Blanche tries to undermine the relationship #MichaelCohen said he had w/ #Trump. He asks whether Cohen did #legal work not only for Trump, but also for his family & the #TrumpOrganization. Then Blanche notes that Cohen did not have a legal retainer to do the work. (He was employed but the TrumpOrg. A retainer would be redundant)

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Prosecutors have said that #Trump's reimbursements for the #HushMoney were fraudulently disguised as #legal services, even though #MichaelCohen had no legal retainer. The point Blanche is seeking to make is: Cohen did legal work for years, & never had a legal retainer. (See above)

#Blanche is also trying to minimize the fact that Cohen had no retainer agreement w/ Trump, suggesting NY #ethics rules don’t require it.

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial #CatchAndKill #conspiracy #ElectionInterference

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

#Blanche again asks #MichaelCohen about his relationship w/journalists. Cohen admits he lied to reporters in early 2018 & secretly recorded conversations w/reporters about Trump’s involvement in the HushMoney payment. (#Wenowdis)

Blanche emphasizes when Cohen recorded reporters — early 2018.

Justice #Merchan stops when Blanche says he’s moving to another area.

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial #Trump #CatchAndKill #conspiracy #ElectionInterference #HushMoney #MobTactics

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Defense team entered into evidence a statement from regarding a complaint, & highlighted the last paragraph.

“Just because something isn’t true doesn’t mean that it can’t cause you harm or damage. I will always protect Mr. Trump," the paragraph read.

Cohen apparently recorded calls w/ reporters in 2018 in which he pitched them on that statement.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Justice #Merchan excused the #jurors.

#MichaelCohen is scheduled to return to the stand Monday for further testimony.

Court is out of session on Friday so that #Trump can attend his son Barron's high school graduation. (To Barron’s dismay)

The defense spent the whole day casting Cohen as a liar & got a few admissions that he had lied under oath (which was known), possibly casting some doubt on his testimony.

#criminal #law #TrumpTrial #CatchAndKill #conspiracy #ElectionInterference

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

Prosecutors now have 3 days to prepare re-direct, when they will seek to build back up & refocus the jurors on the most important elements of their case & the actual charges for which they’ve presented mountains of evidence regardless of whether Cohen is a liar or not.

.

paezha,
@paezha@mastodon.online avatar

@Nonilex

"Cash" means something else in Blanche's world, it seems

carstenfranke,
@carstenfranke@mastodon.social avatar

@Nonilex "outrageous & disruptive behavior" = fondling her date during the show, while children were present.

Nonilex,
@Nonilex@masto.ai avatar

@carstenfranke don’t forget refusing to stop vaping after being asked to stop by the pregnant woman sitting behind her getting smacked in the face by her exhaled smoke.

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