Michael Cohen reveals Tiffany Trump was target of extortion plot

Cohen testified the youngest Trump daughter was the subject of an alleged blackmail scheme in 2016

Alex Woodward
in Manhattan criminal court
,Ariana Baio
Monday 20 May 2024 18:54 BST
Related video: Stormy Daniels’ lawyer says she wore bulletproof vest while traveling to Donald Trump’s hush money trial

Donald Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany Trump was the target of an extortion plot back in 2016, according to testimony from the former president’s ex-lawyer and one-time fixer Michael Cohen in court on Monday.

During cross-examination, Mr Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanche continued to question Cohen’s recollection of events around the time he paid adult film star Stormy Daniels hush money in order to silence her about an alleged sexual encounter with Mr Trump in 2006.

Cohen previously testified that he called Mr Trump to inform him of the payment in the days after he wired Ms Daniels the $130,000 in October 2016 – days before the presidential election.

Mr Blanche challenged what other conversations Cohen would have had with his former boss, suggesting that an October 26 2016 phone call may have been about something other than the payment to Ms Daniels.

Cohen testified that he did recall speaking with Tiffany and David Pecker, the former publisher of The National Enquirer, about an alleged blackmail scheme involving Tiffany.

“You handled it and spoke to Mr Pecker, and Ms Trump about it and spoke with general counsel at AMI to shut this down?” Mr Blanche asked.

Tiffany Trump gives pre-recorded address to RNC in 2020
Tiffany Trump gives pre-recorded address to RNC in 2020 (Getty Images)

“Yes, to Pecker and Ms Trump about it to figure out a way to shut it down,” Cohen asid.

However he insisted that his conversation with Mr Trump on October 26 was about Ms Daniels – and not the extortion plot involving Tiffany.

“My recollection is that I was speaking to him about Stormy Daniels because that was what he tasked me with and that’s what I was working,” Cohen testified.

It is unclear what the alleged blackmail plot involving Tiffany was about – or how it was “shut down”.

Cohen is the prosecution’s final – and “star” – witness in the former president’s trial where he is criminally accused of falsifying 34 business records to conceal his reimbursement payments to Cohen.

Donald Trump, far left, watches as defense attorney Todd Blanche, at podium, cross examines Michael Cohen on the witness stand with Judge Juan Merchan presiding
Donald Trump, far left, watches as defense attorney Todd Blanche, at podium, cross examines Michael Cohen on the witness stand with Judge Juan Merchan presiding (AP)

So far, Cohen has testified to the jury that he had to get his former boss’s “sign-off” on everything he did – including when he paid Ms Daniels the $130,000 payment to keep quiet about the alleged affair.

He testified that the former president was not only aware of the payment but had promised to reimburse him for the money he fronted to secure the deal with Ms Daniels.

Last week, Mr Blanche accused Cohen of lying about a phone call to Mr Trump’s bodyguard where he testified that he also spoke directly to Mr Trump to confirm to him that he had paid Ms Daniels the $130,000.

Cohen remained adamant that the phone call was about the payments – though admitted other topics may have come up during it.

The jury previously heard from other witnesses that Cohen, Mr Trump and Mr Pecker engaged in a so-called “catch and kill” scheme leading up to the election to prevent negative stories about Mr Trump from hurting his presidential campaign.

Mr Trump denies the affair and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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