What witnesses think about Michael Cohen as Donald Trump’s former fixer and lawyer testifies

Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer has been branded as aggressive, a liar and a ‘jerk’

James Liddell
Monday 13 May 2024 15:01 BST
Related: Michael Cohen claims Trump told him ‘I hate that we did that’ about Stormy Daniels payment
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There’s been a recurring theme in Donald Trump’s hush-money trial after three weeks of testimony: Michael Cohen is not favoured by the witnesses.

While Mr Trump’s former lawyer and fixer once styled himself as a “spokesman, thug, pit bull and lawless lawyer”, others in the courtroom have given him less aggrandising titles of “jerk” and “aggressive guy”.

After weeks of delay, and admitting some of the witnesses came with “baggage”, prosecutors finally put forward Mr Cohen in the hope that he finds favour with the jury.

On Monday, the 57-year-old and Mr Trump, 77, came face-to-face at Manhattan Criminal Court after their last meeting at the ex-president’s New York civil fraud trial in the autumn.

Mr Cohen has finally taken the stand to give testimony in what prosecutors hope can help them prove Mr Trump falsified business records ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Trump is accused of making a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels via Mr Cohen to allegedly suppress stories about an alleged affair. Prosecutors claim he fraudulently reimbursed his former lawyer for the $130,000 paid to Ms Daniels.

Trump and Cohen go face-to-face on Monday (Reuters)

The presumptive Republican presidential candidate denies both the affair and the charges against him.

The jury has already heard a host of scathing descriptions from a wide pool of witnesses concerning Mr Cohen.

Former head of American Media Inc David Pecker said that Mr Cohen was “prone to exaggeration”.

While former Trump adviser Hope Hicks commented that he liked to call himself a “fixer” or “Mr Fix It”. She took the gloss of his title, saying that he was given the name because he usually “broke it first”.

Ms Daniels’ former lawyer Keith Davidson said that he only dealt with Mr Cohen after the adult star’s manager at the time, Gina Rodriguez, didn’t want to deal with him. He continued to describe him as a “jerk”.

“The moral of the story was: No one wanted to talk to Cohen,” he told the court.

Stormy Daniels took the stand last week (AP)

Mr Davidson described a 2011 conversation surrounding a blog post on Ms Daniels and Mr Trump, where he said the lawyer unleashed a “barrage of insults and insinuations and allegations”.

Cohen’s former banker, Gary Farro, said it was fair to call Cohen an “aggressive guy”, and testified that he was given Cohen’s account because he could be firm with individuals who were “a little challenging”.

It comes a week after Ms Daniels herself took the stand, delivering some highly graphic and embarrassing evidence about her alleged sexual encounter with Mr Trump in July 2006.

Mr Trump has seemingly succumbed to his gag order after violating it on 10 occasions and being threatened with jail, by Justice Juan Merchan. It was implemented as an attempt to stop him from making statements about jurors, witnesses and families of the judge and prosecutors.

However, on Friday, Justice Juan Merchan warned prosecutors to tell Mr Cohen to stop commenting on the case.

He has mocked Mr Trump calling him “sleepy Donald” on X, about when the former president was said to fall asleep in court last month.

Mr Cohen has also posted memes that appear to show Mr Trump in prison-uniform orange and joked on TikTok about Mr Trump being incarcerated.

“Trump 2024?,” he said. “More like Trump 20-24 years.”

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