Michael Cohen and Donald Trump see each other for first time in 5 years in New York fraud-trial face-off – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump see each other for first time in 5 years in New York fraud-trial face-off

Michael Cohen and former President Donald Trump.

REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz; Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump and Michael Cohen saw each other on Tuesday for the first time in five years.
Cohen was called as a key witness in Trump’s New York civil fraud trial.
It was Cohen who first told the world that Trump’s net-worth statements to banks and insurers were frauds.

Donald Trump and his fixer-turned-foe Michael Cohen came face-to-face in a Manhattan courtroom Tuesday, their first time in the same space in five years. 

The two men did not appear to lock eyes as Cohen, his demeanor cheerful, entered the courtroom and took the witness stand in Trump’s $250 million civil fraud trial, now in its fourth week. 

But Trump watched intently from the defense table as his now-nemesis was sworn in and promised to tell the truth against him.

Cohen — clad in jeans, a gray tweed jacket with an open collared white shirt, and no tie — immediately addressed his criminal record, insisting that he only copped in 2019 to personal income tax evasion because of federal pressure.

“When all of this started it was overwhelming,” he said of his time in the spotlight as Trump’s most vocal accuser. “The amount of misinformation, disinformation, malinformation against me was enormous.”

Trump and his former lawyer have been bitter enemies since 2019, when Cohen testified before Congress that the then-president widely exaggerated his net worth to impress banks while downplaying his worth to save on real estate taxes.

That testimony launched two state-level investigations in New York – one brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, the other by the office of New York Attorney General Letitita James.

It’s James’ investigation that led to the fraud lawsuit against Trump, Trump Organization, and four longtime company executives – including Trump’s two eldest sons – that is now being tried.

The Manhattan DA’s Cohen-prompted probe eventually led to one of the four criminal indictments. that Trump now faces, the so-called “hush-money” case, which charges Trump with felony-level falsification of business records.

That case, alleging that Trump Org records were falsified to hide a $130,000 hush-money payment to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, was the first indictment brought against the former president.

In that case, too, Cohen, who handled the money transfer, will be the key witness against Trmp. Cohen has said Trump directed him to make that payment to keep Daniels quiet before the 2016 presidential election. 

The lead Manhattan prosecutor in the hush-money case, Susan Hoffinger, was briefly in the courtroom Tuesday morning but left prior to Cohen taking the stand.

Throughout his testimony, Cohen repeatedly referred to Trump by full name, “Donald J. Trump,” including as a senior assitant district attorney, Colleen Faherty, asked him who was his legal client and his Trump Organizer employer prior to his flipping on Trump in 2019.

Much of Cohen’s testimony on Tuesday morning was introductory. Cohen, who was Trump’s right-hand attorney for 

Read the original article on Business Insider
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