Trump trial latest: ‘I violated my moral compass’ – Trump’s former fixer reveals regret at lying for him | U.S. News

Trump trial latest: ‘I violated my moral compass’ – Trump’s former fixer reveals regret at lying for him | U.S. News
Trump trial latest: ‘I violated my moral compass’ – Trump’s former fixer reveals regret at lying for him | U.S. News

Michael Cohen faced questions from the prosecution and defense today – so what did we learn?

‘False records’ shown to jury

Starting with the prosecution, the jury was shown several invoices, checks and stubs which Cohen said were false records.

Some of the checks were signed by Donald Trump himself, and a total of $420,000 was sent to Cohen for a “legal retainer”.

Susan Hoffinger for the prosecution asked Cohen if any of the checks were for work carried out in the month they corresponded to.

“No ma’am,” he responded, later telling the court it was purely reimbursement for the Stormy Daniels hush money he had put up.

Cohen kept lying out of loyalty

The prosecution then asked Cohen about lying over the Stormy Daniels payment when it came out in the papers.

He maintained it was out of loyalty that he kept doing so.

He was also asked why he paid the money to Stormy Daniels

“To ensure that the story would not come out, and it would not affect Mr Trump’s chances of becoming president of the United States,” Cohen said.

‘Don’t worry, I’m the president’

Moving on to an FBI raid on Cohen’s residence in 2018, the ex-fixer said he was told the president would look after him.

Cohen claimed he left Donald Trump a message in the aftermath, to which he later responded: “Don’t worry, I am the president of the United States, everything is going to be okay, stay tough.”

Moral compass ‘violated’

“I regret doing things for him that I should not have,” Cohen said, concluding the prosecution’s questioning of him.

“I violated my moral compass, and I suffered the penalty, as did my family.”

Defense looks to paint picture

After lunch, the defense took us down a confusing path – jumping from one timeline to another, from point to point in no obviously coherent order.

Our NBC News colleague Lisa Rubin said from court that “Todd Blanche has meandered from Cohen’s stubborn media appearances, to his wealth, to his ‘obsession’ with Trump – but without much depth or teeth”.

We did hear Cohen admit that he “missed Trump” at times after he became president, and that at one stage he was “knee-deep in the cult of Donald Trump”.

It appeared to be part of the defense’s strategy to paint Cohen as “obsessed” with Trump – which they backed up by pointing to hundreds of media appearances, podcasts and interviews in which the disgraced lawyer has mentioned his former boss – and even sold t- shirts depicting him behind bars.

Gag order appeal rejected

From one courtroom to another – and an appeals court denied Donald Trump’s appeal of the gag orders that were imposed in this case.

He’s already been found in violation of the order 10 times.

Trump has repeatedly insisted the order is unconstitutional.

“The Federal Restraining Order Decision properly found that the order was necessary under the circumstances, holding that ‘Trump’s documented pattern of speech and its demonstrated real-time, real-world consequences pose a significant and imminent threat to the functioning of the criminal trial process ‘,” a statement from the Supreme Court of the State of New York read.

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