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By Mae Slater on
 May 19, 2024

Donald Trump Gets Huge Advantage In Hush Money Trial After Cohen's Testimony

Thursday's cross-examination of Michael Cohen brought an unexpected advantage to Donald Trump in his ongoing criminal trial.

CNN reported that as the trial nears its crucial phase, Trump’s defense capitalized on inconsistencies in Cohen’s testimony, raising doubts about his credibility.

The courtroom dynamics changed dramatically when Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, underwent a rigorous cross-examination. The focus was particularly on a disputed phone call that Cohen claimed was about the payment to Stormy Daniels.

Trump’s defense lawyer, Todd Blanche, challenged Cohen’s account, suggesting the call was instead about a trivial matter involving a prank call from a teenager. Cohen insisted he also discussed Daniels with Trump, but inconsistencies emerged that Blanche was quick to highlight.

Scrutiny of Cohen’s Testimony Highlights Trial's Critical Turn

The credibility of Cohen, once a close confidant of Trump, is crucial to the prosecution’s case. However, his previous convictions for lying have made him a vulnerable witness, an angle that Blanche exploited by questioning Cohen’s motives and truthfulness.

Blanche's strategy appeared to pivot around creating doubt about Cohen's reliability. “That was a lie! You did not talk to President Trump on that night, you talked to Keith Schiller. … You can admit it,” Blanche asserted during the session, intensifying the scrutiny on Cohen.

Despite the aggressive questioning, Cohen maintained his stance, reiterating his involvement in resolving the Daniels matter with Trump. His defense of his testimony underlined the contentious nature of the trial.

The effectiveness of Blanche's examination was a topic of debate among legal analysts. Some, like Jim Trusty, believed that focusing on Cohen’s honesty was a tactical win for Trump’s team. Trusty noted, “The defense set the whole trial up to be a referendum on Cohen’s honesty. That is exactly where you want this fight to be, so it is a good moment.”

Conversely, others like George Conway acknowledged that while there were strong moments for Blanche, parts of his approach were less coherent, which could dilute the overall impact of the defense’s narrative.

Norm Eisen, reflecting on the day’s proceedings, mentioned, “It was a blow on the chin. My experience of 30 years of doing this is it takes more than one punch to knock out a witness,” suggesting that the trial still had dynamics left to unfold.

With the trial progressing rapidly, the final summations are expected as soon as next Tuesday, with a verdict likely to follow post-Memorial Day. This timeline places significant pressure on both the defense and prosecution to solidify their narratives.

The support for Trump was not confined to the courtroom. Influential figures like Florida Representative Matt Gaetz have publicly backed Trump, signaling strong GOP support amidst the legal turmoil.

As the trial heads toward its conclusion, the defense’s strategy to instill doubt in at least one juror’s mind regarding Cohen’s credibility could be pivotal. This approach mirrors tactics often seen in organized crime cases, where the reliability of key witnesses can make or break a case.

Conclusion: A Complex Legal Battle with National Implications

In conclusion, the trial of Donald Trump has unfolded into a complex legal battle, focusing significantly on the credibility of Michael Cohen.

With the defense aiming to create reasonable doubt among jurors, and the prosecution striving to rehabilitate Cohen’s image, the outcome of this trial could have far-reaching implications for Trump’s political future and the broader American legal landscape.

Written By:
Mae Slater

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