Michael Cohen Testifies For Second Day As Defense Begins Cross-Examination

Former President Donald Trump's Hush Money Trial Continues In New York

Photo: David Dee Delgado / Getty Images News / Getty Images

Michael Cohen, former personal attorney to Donald Trump, testified for the second day in the ongoing hush money trial against the former president. Cohen spent eight hours over two days under direct examination, with defense cross-examination set to follow.

Cohen admitted to past lies about his involvement in campaign finance violations, stating he did so to remain loyal to Trump and get ahead of the defense's cross-examination. He apologized for his behavior to his family and the American public, acknowledging that he suppressed information the public had a right to know.

Cohen testified that Trump directly approved a plan to reimburse him for a $130,000 payment made before the 2016 election to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who alleged a sexual encounter with Trump. These reimbursements were characterized as payments for Cohen's legal services in the Trump Organization's records. Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, one charge for each invoice, check, and voucher created in connection with the payments to Cohen.

After a lunch break, Trump's defense team began cross-examining Cohen. Trump's lead defense attorney, Todd Blanche, questioned Cohen about his previous statements and actions. Cohen confirmed that he had made certain comments about the trial on social media and had been following the proceedings on news channels, albeit not 'religiously'.

Blanche also brought up Cohen's comments that he wants to see Trump convicted in this case.

"Have you regularly commented on your podcasts that you want President Trump to be convicted in this case?" Blanche asked.

"Yes, probably," Cohen said.

"Do you have any doubt?" Blanche responds.

"No," Cohen replied.

When asked why he answered the question that way, Cohen said, "Because I don’t specifically know if I used those words, but yes, I would like to see that."

"Do you want to see President Trump convicted in this case?" Blanche asked.

"Sure," Cohen answered.

Blanche also asked Cohen if he was "obsessed" with Trump when he worked for him.

"I wouldn’t say obsessed. I admired him tremendously," Cohen said. "I can’t recall using that word. I wouldn’t say it would be wrong."

Blance then asked about comments in which Cohen said that Trump will "make the country great again."

"At the time, you weren't lying, right?" Blanche asks.

"At that time, I was knee-deep into the cult of Donald Trump, yes," Cohen answers, adding, "I was not lying, it's how I felt."

"You were telling the truth, correct?" Blanche asks.

"That’s how I felt," Cohen says. "I was expressing my feelings, so yes, it would be the truth."

In another back-and-forth, Blanche got Cohen to admit he lied to federal investigators looking into Trump's ties to Russia.

"Yes, the information I gave was not accurate," Cohen said about a plan to build a Trump-branded building in Moscow.

"Was it a lie?" Blanche asked, pressing Cohen to give a straight answer.

"I don't know if I would characterize it as a lie," Cohen replied. "It was inaccurate."

"Was it a lie?" Blanche asked again.

"It wasn’t a lie, it wasn’t truthful, if you want to call it a lie we can call it a lie, I believe the information I gave them is inaccurate," Cohen answered.

"But you are not testifying it’s a lie?" Blanche asked

"Sure, I’ll say it’s a lie," Cohen said.

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