Lie after lie: Trump's defense exposes Michael Cohen

The former president's lawyer delved into the witness' history of lying and accused him of having lied last Tuesday at the trial.

This Thursday, the trial against Donald Trump focused on Michael Cohen’s cross-examination. Attorney Todd Blanche detailed different occasions where the Prosecutor’s star witness lied even while under oath. Cohen admitted to lying at various times, and Blanche accused Cohen of also lying on Tuesday at the hearing.

Another key point of the day was Blanche’s questioning about the frustration that not having been chosen by Trump as part of his Cabinet would have generated in Cohen.

An extensive history of lying

Most of Thursday focused on the questions asked by former President Trump’s lawyer to Michael Cohen about the lies he has told over the eight years that have passed since the confidentiality agreement was signed with Stormy Daniels.

Blanche went on to detail the different occasions in which Cohen has lied even while under oath. He recalled that the Prosecutor’s star witness lied before Congress in the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the elections. He also highlighted that Cohen lied to federal investigators from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and before a federal judge. The prosecution’s star witness admitted having lied on different occasions.

The lawyer Blanche even claimed that Cohen lied at Tuesday’s hearing when he spoke about an alleged call to Trump to discuss the Stormy Daniels affair. Blanche noted that in a text message, Cohen asked Keith Schiller, Trump’s former bodyguard, who he could talk to about calls from a 14-year-old alleged stalker, and Schiller responded, “Call me.”

Blanche insisted that Cohen lied on Tuesday when he said that the call had been to speak with Trump and that they had discussed the non-disclosure agreement issue.

In response to Blanche’s accusations, Cohen said, “Part of it was the 14-year-old ... but I know Keith was with Mr. Trump.”

But Trump’s lawyer reproached him and stated, “That was a lie. You did not talk to President Trump.”

“I’m not certain that’s accurate,” Cohen replied.

Did Cohen want to be Trump’s chief of staff?

During the trial, several different witnesses stated that Cohen had been quite upset and felt slighted when Trump did not decide to include him in his White House Cabinet. On Thursday, lawyer Blanche suggested that Cohen hoped to be Trump’s chief of staff and felt abandoned when the former president left him out.

On Wednesday, Robert Costello, a lawyer Michael Cohen advised, testified in the House of Representatives that Cohen repeatedly told him that Trump had nothing to do with the payments to Daniels and that he took care of the matter on his own. Costello also noted that Cohen’s obvious motivation for taking on the Daniels matter was that he wanted to be considered by Trump for his Cabinet. According to the lawyer, Cohen thought Trump would appoint him Attorney General or, at least, chief of staff.

This Thursday, Blanche asked Cohen if he wanted Trump to name him chief of staff. Cohen said he would have liked to be considered, but it was not a position he would have sought. However, Blanche pointed out that Cohen sent messages to different people talking about the possibility of Trump appointing him and even highlighted a conversation between Cohen and his daughter in which they criticized Trump for leaving him out.

The confidentiality agreement is legal

Trump’s lawyer asked Michael Cohen on several occasions about the confidentiality agreement signed with Stormy Daniels so that she would not make her story with the former president public. Cohen admitted that it was a legal contract. Blanche also emphasized that both sides had lawyers and that these agreements happen “all the time,” to which Cohen agreed.

“You agree with me that there’s nothing illegal about the settlement contract, both of whom have lawyers?” Blanche asked.

“Correct,” Cohen said.

“This all comes out of the White House and the Department of Justice”

As is customary, Trump gave statements before and after the trial. In the morning, he noted that different legal experts continue to ask precisely what the case is about and what the crime is. He also particularly singled out President Biden and his Justice Department for being behind the case.

“This is a Biden trial. This all comes out of the White House and the Department of Justice. In fact, a lead person from the DOJ is running the trial.”

At the end of the day, Trump again stated that the trial is meaningless and that he is being kept away from the campaign: “They want me to spend my time and my money — and I’m willing to do it — because ultimately, we have to fight for the Constitution.”