What time could Michael Cohen testify?

What time could Michael Cohen testify?
What time could Michael Cohen testify?

Trump hush money trial: Why Michael Cohen’s testimony is key?

Donald Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records that included a hush money payment during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Michael Cohen could take the witness stand as early as Monday in former President Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial to provide what one prosecutor told jurors will be “damning” testimony.

Although Cohen was once Trump’s lawyer, today he’s not a lawyer at all: he was disbarred after pleading guilty in 2018 to campaign finance violations and lying to Congress, among other crimes.

Prosecutors hope to overcome that baggage and convince a jury Cohen is telling the truth when he alleges that Trump authorized him to pay $130,000 in hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election, and that Trump arranged to reimburse him in a scheme that would cover up the hush money.

Keep up with USA TODAY’s live updates from inside and outside the Manhattan courtroom:

Cohen described beginning to work for Trump with an agreement to a $375,000 base salary. “Bonus of course was to be discussed,” Cohen said after prosecutor Susan Hoffinger asked about a bonus. Cohen just described re-negotiating bills for Trump University, a now-shuttered institution. Trump settled fraud lawsuits tied to Trump University for $25 million.

Cohen also said he would speak to members of the press in a threatening way about stories that were bad for Trump, telling them to take the stories down.

– Aysha Bagchi

Donald Trump’s eyes are closed as Cohen is testifying. I just counted to 30, with a “Mississippi” in between each number, without Trump opening his eyes. I stopped counting, but his eyes remained closed. That’s in contrast to Eric Trump, who is seated in a bench row behind his father and appears to be watching Cohen testify.

– Aysha Bagchi

Trump was joined at his New York hush money trial on Monday by his son Eric and Sens. JD Vance, R-Ohio, and Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala.

Vance patted Trump on the shoulder after he railed against the prosecution to reporters outside the courtroom.

Other lawmakers have joined the former president at previous court sessions, including Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., as Trump has complained the charges represent election interference to keep him off the presidential campaign trail.

Bart Jansen

The prosecution called Michael Cohen to the witness stand. Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger is asking Cohen introductory questions. He said he is 57 years old. His marriage is going on 30 years, he said. His father survived the Holocaust. He was introduced to Trump by Trump son Donald Trump Jr.

– Aysha Bagchi

Judge Merchan opened proceedings today by denying a request the prosecution made on Friday to show jurors a severance agreement that the prosecution believes would offer a reason why former Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg hasn’t testified. Merchan said the agreement does not prove an element of an offense Trump is charged with. “It doesn’t move the ball in any way” in terms of satisfying your burden of proof, Merchan told prosecutors this morning.

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass said on Friday the agreement appears to put Weisselberg at risk of losing $750,000 in severance pay if he talks to the prosecution.

Weisselberg is currently serving a five-month jail sentence for committing perjury during Trump’s New York civil fraud trial.

– Aysha Bagchi

Former President Donald Trump did not mention his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, before entering the courtroom Monday for his New York hush money trial, but continued to blast the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan for what he called election interference.

Cohen is expected to testify about paying porn actress Stormy Daniels to remain silent before the 2016 election about her claim of a sexual episode with Trump. Trump, who is charged with falsifying business records to reimburse Cohen, has denied having sex with Daniels and argued he was paying Cohen for legal expenses.

“We don’t call it construction work. We don’t say for concrete work. We don’t say for electrical work. We paid a lawyer a legal expense,” Trump told reporters outside the courtroom. “It’s perfectly marketed down. The other side doesn’t know how to handle it but they say, ‘Let’s indict him anyway.’”

– Bart Jansen

Judge Juan Merchan entered the courtroom at 9:32 am EDT for today’s proceedings. “Good morning, counsel. Good morning, Mr. Trump,” Merchan said after the legal teams identified themselves.

– Aysha Bagchi

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is in the courtroom today. He entered at 9:23 am EDT, shortly after former President Trump. Bragg has attended some but not all of the trial proceedings. He is seated in a bench two rows back from the prosecution table.

– Aysha Bagchi

Former President Donald Trump entered the courtroom at 9:22 am EDT. Trump’s middle son, Eric, is here. Eric Trump has attended some previous days, including while Stormy Daniels testified. Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, accompanied the Trump team today as well.

– Aysha Bagchi

The latest criminal trial of Sen. Bob Menendez, DN.J., starts today in a federal courthouse just blocks from Trump’s New York hush money trial. Menendez faces allegations that he took bribes, including cash and gold bars, in exchange for agreeing to help the governments of Egypt and Qatar. Federal prosecutors say the New Jersey senator as well as his wife, Nadine Menendez, conspired for him to act as a foreign agent.

– Aysha Bagchi

The prosecution team entered the courtroom at 9:12 am EDT. We are still waiting on the defense team, the judge, and the jury.

– Aysha Bagchi

Read trial transcripts from Stormy Daniels, Hope Hicks

The court is publishing daily transcripts of proceedings, so you can read key testimony from more than a dozen witnesses, including Stormy Daniels and former top Trump aide Hope Hicks.

Transcripts and evidence are posted online at the New York State Unified Court System’s media website. Records from each day are typically available by the end of the following business day.

– Kinsey Crowley

No, the trial won’t be televised or available to watch online or aired on TV.

New York court rules state that audio-visual coverage of trials is not permitted unless a representative of the news media submits an application and the judge allows it.

Records show an application was submitted to cover the arraignment, but not the trial. Judge Juan Merchan rejected the request to televise the arraignment.

– Kinsey Crowley and Aysha Bagchi

Trump’s hush money trial is happening at the New York County Supreme Court in New York state, according to a media advisory. The location is 100 Center St., Criminal Term, Part 59, Room 1530.

The proceedings normally start at 9:30 am EDT, and the trial typically includes an off day on Wednesdays.

Sudiksha Kochi

If you heard about the former president’s trial being delayed, that doesn’t apply to his hush money case.

Last week, US District Judge Aileen Cannon postponed indefinitely Trump’s trial on charges he hoarded classified documents after leaving the White House.

Cannon had tentatively scheduled the trial to start May 20 but removed that date without setting a new one. She said she would set a new date that takes into account Trump’s right to a fair trial and the public’s right to the fair and efficient administration of justice.

– Bart Jansen and Marina Pitofsky

Who is Stormy Daniels?

Stormy Daniels, born Stephanie Clifford, is an adult film star.

Daniels says she had an affair with Trump in 2006, months after Melania Trump gave birth to Barron Trump. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid here $130,000 to stay quiet about the alleged affair ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump’s lawyers tried to block Daniels from being called to the witness stand, but New York Judge Juan Merchan ruled that Daniels can testify because her allegations are “inextricably intertwined” with the criminal allegations.

Kinsey Crowley, Bart Jansen

Michael Cohen is the longtime lawyer and political fixer for Trump, but he has become an open critic of him in recent years.

In 2016, Cohen paid $130,000 in hush money to Daniels after her alleged relationship with the then-real estate mogul. “Everything was done with the knowledge and at the direction of Mr. Trump,” Cohen said at a House hearing.

David Pecker, the first witness on the stand for the hush money trial, has testified that he frequently communicated with Cohen about stories regarding Trump and his opponents leading up to the 2016 election.

Kinsey Crowley

What does Trump’s trial schedule look like?

Trump’s hush money trial is expected to last six to eight weeks after its April 15 start, according to a media advisory from New York’s Unified Court System. The courtroom normally opens at 9:30 am eastern time, and the court takes off on Wednesdays.

Judge Juan Merchan ruled that the court will break on May 17 so Trump can attend his son Barron Trump’s high school graduation, and on May 24 due to a juror scheduling conflict.

Sudiksha Kochi

Proceedings in Donald Trump’s hush money trial are expected to begin at 9:30 am local time in New York.

– Marina Pitofsky

Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. Prosecutors say he falsified records to hide unlawfully interfering in the 2016 presidential election by violating campaign finance laws through the hush money to Daniels. Trump has pleaded not guilty.

– Aysha Bagchi

Theoretically, Trump could go to prison for as many as 20 years if he’s convicted on all counts. However, legal experts told USA TODAY that is highly unlikely. Most said he would probably face a sentence ranging from just probation to up to four years in prison. They also said, even if Trump were sentenced to incarceration, he would likely be free during his appeal.

– Aysha Bagchi

The article is in Norwegian

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