Michael Cohen's testimony in the Trump trial is entering its third day

The fifth week of the criminal trial against Donald Trump in New York ends as it began: with the former president's ex-lawyer Michael Cohen in the stands.

Cohen, the key witness in the case against Trump, was questioned for a day and a half by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg before Trump lawyer Todd Blanche caught him on Tuesday afternoon.

Blanche confronted Cohen with his own foul-mouthed statements about Trump and his lawyers.

Blanche focused on his motivations and credibility, with Cohen dryly deflecting the attacks. Confronted with recent statements calling Blanche a “crying little s–t” and Trump a “dictator d'bag,” Cohen responded, “Sounds like something I would say.”

Asked about a series of times he lavishly praised Trump in 2015, Cohen said he was “knee deep in the cult of Donald Trump.”

Blanche also forced Cohen to admit that he had lied under oath and that he had changed his tune about his dealings with Trump. Blanche suggested that Cohen cooperated with authorities investigating Trump as they demanded a prison sentence reduction in 2019. Cohen pleaded guilty to federal charges in 2018 and ultimately served 13 months in prison.

Under earlier questioning by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger, Cohen said he hoped Trump would protect him from 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 stated that Trump approved a plan to reimburse Cohen for the payment over the next year.

Before Cohen's cross-examination, prosecutors walked jurors through the 34 corporate documents they say were falsified to cover up the payment to Daniels, showing the invoices, vouchers and checks corresponding to each charge against Trump. The former president has pleaded not guilty.

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

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