Michael Cohen Tells Jury: “Prosecutors Love Paper Trails”

(NationalUSNews.com) — Former President Donald Trump’s former attorney and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, has started his testimony in the former president’s Manhattan hush-money trial, explaining Trump’s alleged involvement in the scheme and how he attempted to avoid direct involvement. According to Cohen, Trump purposely avoided using an email address because it would leave evidence for prosecutors. Cohen claims that Trump not only knew about the hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, but the former president had to personally agree to the payment scheme before Cohen could move forward.

Cohen’s testimony primarily consisted of him explaining his time as Trump’s legal representative, during which Cohen acted on Trump’s behalf on multiple occasions throughout several years. Cohen spoke favorably about the former president and said working as Trump’s attorney was an “amazing” job. Cohen also detailed how his relationship with Trump began to deteriorate once federal investigators raided the attorney’s property, resulting in Cohen facing tax evasion and campaign regulation violation charges. Cohen eventually pleaded guilty to criminal charges against him, which he claims led Trump to cut contact with him.

When testifying, Cohen admitted that he lied to members of Congress after his conviction to protect Trump from potential criminal repercussions. Cohen told federal prosecutors that he initially wanted to defend Trump after his conviction, but the former attorney now claims that he will be honest about Trump and admit to any illegality that occurred during his time as Trump’s legal representative. Despite the various controversies surrounding Cohen’s time as Trump’s lawyer, prosecutors are primarily interested in Cohen’s involvement in the hush-money scheme and whether or not Trump knew about the scheme.

Cohen told prosecutors that he helped Trump pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 using a shell corporation and that Trump personally signed off on the hush-money payments. According to Cohen, Trump knew that facilitating the payments via a shell corporation would constitute a crime, so the former president avoided using email communications to prevent any widespread prosecution of himself or his associates. Cohen also briefly addressed the infamous “catch and kill” scheme between Trump and the National Enquirer, which saw the former president buy a story about his alleged affair with adult magazine model Karen McDougal to prevent its publication in media outlets.

While Cohen’s testimony may seem damning, legal experts aren’t entirely convinced. According to some criminal defense attorneys, Cohen’s testimony directly contradicts his prior statements under oath. While Cohen’s story has changed since his conviction in 2018, Trump maintains his innocence regarding the hush-money scheme.

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