Trump trial live updates as Michael Cohen begins 3rd day of testimony

The fifth week of Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York is ending as it began: with the former president’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen on the stand.

Cohen, the key witness in the case against Trump, is facing questioning from Trump’s defense attorneys about his record of lying under oath in different cases. 

Todd Blanche, Trump’s lead lawyer, peppered the former lawyer with questions about his conviction for lying to Congress and his admission that he lied to a judge during sentencing for a number of federal crimes in 2018.

He also played clips of Cohen talking about Trump last year, around the time Trump was indicted by a grand jury in Manhattan.

“I truly f–king hope that this man ends up in prison,” Cohen was heard saying in one clip. “You better believe I want this man to go down and rot inside for what he did to my family.”

Under questioning from the prosecution earlier this week, Cohen said he hoped Trump would protect him from federal charges if he remained loyal and lied about a $130,000 “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Cohen has testified that Trump approved of a plan to reimburse Cohen for the payment over the course of the following year.

Prosecutors walked jurors through the 34 business records they say were falsified to cover up the payment to Daniels, showing the invoices, vouchers and checks that correspond to each felony charge Trump faces. The former president has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors said in court on Tuesday that Cohen will be their last witness. Blanche told the judge, Juan Merchan, that he is not sure if Trump will testify on his own behalf, or if they’ll call any witnesses at all. The court is not meeting on Friday.

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