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Experts Say Evidence Bolsters Cohen’s Testimony in Trump Hush Money Trial

In a dramatic turn at Donald Trump’s New York criminal trial, experts suggest that hard evidence supports Michael Cohen’s testimony, despite attempts by Trump’s defense to undermine him. Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, testified that Trump directed him to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 before the 2016 election to silence her about an alleged affair. Cohen claimed Trump then falsified records to cover up the payments.

Defense lawyers portrayed Cohen as a liar acting out of spite. However, prosecutors presented substantial circumstantial evidence, including phone logs and testimony from key witnesses like David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer. Pecker testified about his role in managing negative stories about Trump, and a recorded conversation between Cohen and Trump from September 2016 discussing a $150,000 payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal was played for the jury.

Legal experts highlighted that prosecutors effectively corroborated significant portions of Cohen’s testimony, establishing Trump’s involvement. Despite the defense’s arguments that Trump delegated details to Cohen and CFO Allen Weisselberg, the evidence portrayed Trump as a micromanager aware of the scheme.

Weisselberg, serving a sentence for perjury in a separate case, is not testifying in this trial. His absence leaves certain pivotal conversations between Trump and Cohen uncorroborated, which could be crucial for the jury’s decision. The jury must unanimously agree on Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, with the defense set to call its witnesses following Cohen’s cross-examination.

Trump denies all allegations, claiming the trial is a partisan effort to disrupt his 2024 presidential campaign. If convicted, Trump faces up to four years in prison for each felony count.

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