OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Michael Cohen began his second day of testimony in Donald Trump’s fraud trial on Wednesday by saying that Trump’s attorney had yelled at him.
On the first day of testimony on Tuesday, Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen took the stand and occasionally called his own objections, which so enraged Trump’s attorneys that one of them, Trump attorney Chris Kise, jumped out of his chair and exclaimed, “Your honor, the witness is out of control,” causing the courtroom to erupt in laughter.
The Messenger’s Adam Klasfeld and MSNBC’s Lisa Rubin were among those live-tweeting from the courtroom Wednesday.
Alina Habba, an attorney for Trump, persisted in her line of questioning about Cohen’s 2018 guilty plea for tax evasion, despite his subsequent claims that he was falsely accused and coerced into the deal. They’re using it as evidence that Cohen lied under oath, hoping to cast doubt on his credibility.
Next, the attorneys got into a heated discussion about the Fifth Amendment.
“There’s nothing wrong with calling a liar a liar,” Kise said.
Cohen “lied,” according to Habba, when he entered a guilty plea in 2018.
She moved on to talk about Cohen’s role in the “statements of financial condition” that were used to justify the false net worth of Trump’s business as he attempted to purchase properties. Cohen claimed that Habba doesn’t understand how the Trump Organization works. It was a “constant carousel” of the top-tier executives walking in and out of Trump’s office, he said.
Michael Cohen testified against Trump today with Trump sitting there in the courtroom. At the end of the day he was cross-examined by Alina Habba and things were contentious from the start. A summary … https://t.co/DgHcbwZyE5
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) October 24, 2023
The claim made by Habba that Cohen was among those consulting the Trump Organization on its real estate ventures was challenged. Cohen claimed he lacked real estate knowledge but had “brand expertise.”
Habba was evidently raising her voice during her questions, prompting Cohen to ask, “I have answered every question that you want. Why are you screaming at me?”
Cohen discussed whether Habba would make it through the questioning without receiving a reprimand from the judge before he appeared in court.
“It’s hard to answer that question as it all depends on how far Alina tries to deviate from direct examination, all in an attempt to score brownie points with Donald,” said Cohen on Sunday.
In a statement posted to Truth Social, Trump said the trial was an attempt at “election interference.”
“If we had any other Judge, this case would have been thrown out years ago,” Trump said of New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron. “He is a Radical Left Democrat who is totally controlled by [Attorney General] Letitia James and her Thugs, many of whom now have Covid, but did not tell any of us who were dealing with them in the close confines of Court.”
“In fact, they lost another Thug to Covid today. Judge would not delay this SCAM, Election Interference, No Jury Case. Judicial and Prosecutorial Misconduct!” he added.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Engoron mentioned that Trump’s legal team had access to masks but opted not to use them.