Donald Trump Prosecutors ‘Know They Have a Problem’—Legal Analyst

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution team “know they’ve got a problem” with Michael Cohen’s expected testimony on Monday in Trump’s criminal hush money trial, former U.S. attorney and CNN legal analyst Michael Moore said on Friday.

In highly-anticipated testimony, Cohen, a name that has echoed throughout the proceedings of the trial, is expected to take the stand against Trump on Monday.

The prosecution’s key witness and former Trump attorney and fixer at the center of the case could be “the string that they’re [the prosecution] either going to use to tie everything together or it’s going to unravel because of him,” Moore said while appearing on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer on Friday.
“It seems to me they [the prosecution] know they’ve got a problem,” Moore added, explaining that “they know they’ve got a rogue witness,” in reference to Cohen. “That’s what they’re afraid of.”

Newsweek reached out to Trump’s legal team for comment via email and the Manhattan district attorney’s office via telephone.

Trump, the presumptive 2024 Republican presidential nominee, became the first former president in U.S. history to stand trial in a criminal case last month. Following an investigation by Bragg’s office, Trump was indicted in March 2023 on charges of falsifying business records relating to hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels by Cohen during his 2016 presidential campaign. Daniels had alleged she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which he has denied. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges and said the case against him is politically motivated.

While speaking to Newsweek on Saturday afternoon via email, Moore said that “the state has built its case around the testimony of two arguably compromised witnesses,” referencing Daniels and Cohen.

He added: “Not only has the state spent the bulk of their time ‘pre-rehabilitating’ Mr. Cohen’s credibility, they have him as the sole witness to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Mr. Trump knew anything about how the expenses listed in the state business records were being categorized. Without that link, they have little more than Trump signing checks.”

Formerly a Trump loyalist, Cohen “is a convicted felon with a clear hatred for Trump,” Moore told Newsweek. A disbarred lawyer who pled guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, campaign-finance violations and lying to Congress, Cohen served a three-year prison sentence and home arrest.

Moore also told Newsweek that he believes the prosecution “showed their hand when they were forced to spend so much of their case trying to clean up a mess from their upcoming key witness [Cohen] that has yet to be made.”

So far, Cohen has presented several problems for the prosecution. Former federal prosecutor Michael McAuliffe previously told Newsweek that “Michael Cohen is a complete mess as a witness for the prosecution,” adding that his previous comments about Trump and “often bizarre publicity stunts” make him “less and less useful as a source of credible evidence.”

Los Angeles-based litigator John J. Perlstein brings a different view about Cohen, previously telling Newsweek, “The defense attorneys attempting to portray him as despicable could certainly backfire if he is credible with respect to the pertinent facts. I tend to think he will be credible when it comes to the information relative to the charges against Trump, who is also disliked in my humble opinion.”

But, for Moore, “[Cohen] has a penchant for making troublesome comments on social media,” he told Newsweek.

Cohen has been vocal on TikTok and other social media platforms about the former president and the trial in the days leading up to his expected testimony. Earlier this week, Cohen posted a TikTok while wearing a shirt that featured a photo of Trump in an orange jumpsuit behind bars.

On Friday, Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the case, told prosecutors to ask Cohen to “refrain from making any more statements about this case.”

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Written by martinfishmers