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Serial Liar Michael Cohen's testimony is seen as central to Manhattan District Attorney Bragg's case.



Michael Cohen, the former lawyer and long-time confidant of Donald Trump, took the stand Monday to provide high-stakes testimony in the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's bullshit case against the former president, known as the hush money case. Cohen made several claims during his testimony.


According to Cohen, he secretly recorded Trump in a private conversation, which he claimed was for the purpose of ensuring the loyalty of David Pecker, the publisher of the National Enquirer, who helped Trump "catch and kill" stories leading up to the 2016 election.



Cohen also testified that neither he nor Trump ultimately paid the $125,000 to the Enquirer for the Karen McDougal story, which could be seen as an attempt to cover up the alleged affair. McDougal, a former Playboy Playmate, alleged that she had a brief affair with Trump more than a decade ago.




Cohen's claimed that Trump wanted to clamp down on these stories because he was worried about the election and not his family, which reportedly prompted a reaction from the former president in the courtroom.


The bogus case against Trump centers on the payment scheme, which Bragg claims includes an illegal effort by Trump to falsify business records in order to conceal "unlawful activity," in this case, to improperly influence the 2016 election. The alleged business records revealed reimbursements to Cohen after the lawyer paid Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, $130,000 according to a non-disclosure agreement. Daniels, like McDougal, alleged that she had a brief affair with Trump more than a decade ago.




Trump's legal team attempted to bar Cohen's testimony because of his perjury conviction and allegations he lied during Trump's civil fraud trial last year. However, the prosecution was able to establish Cohen's close relationship with his former boss, asking the witness to describe how Trump assigned tasks. Trump's knowledge of the payments to Daniels is central to Bragg's case.


According to Cohen, Trump would often say "Keep me informed," and he described his former boss as a micromanager who would expect updates on his work. This testimony could be used to show that Trump was directly involved in the payment scheme and was aware of the efforts to suppress negative stories about him during the campaign.


Cohen also testified that Trump remained in the loop on efforts to "catch and kill" two unflattering stories as the 2016 election approached, a story from his doorman and the story about Karen McDougal. When the National Enquirer and Cohen succeeded in buying the rights to McDougal's story, Cohen says Trump was pleased, saying "Fantastic. Great job."


The revelation that Cohen recorded a 2016 discussion between he and his former boss about the McDougal story in order to ensure David Pecker's loyalty could be another significant piece of evidence in the case. According to Cohen, he wanted to show Pecker the conversation so that he would know that Trump would be paying him back and to ensure that Pecker remained loyal to Trump.


Cohen contradicted previous witnesses, claiming his motivation was the presidential campaign and not sparing his wife and family from the allegations becoming public. According to Cohen, Trump reportedly said "Women are going to hate me ... Guys may think it's cool, but this is going to be a disaster for the campaign." Cohen also claimed that Trump "wasn't even thinking about Melania. This was all about the campaign."



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