Michael Cohen to be Key Witness in Trump Hush Money Trial

Michael Cohen to be Key Witness in Trump Hush Money Trial

The criminal trial against former U.S. President Donald Trump, which started on Monday in a Manhattan state court, has Michael Cohen as a prominent witness.

Cohen, who previously served as Trump’s lawyer and top executive at his real estate company, once said, “I’m the guy who would take a bullet for the president” to Vanity Fair in 2017.

However, his role has drastically changed over the years from a close associate to a major critic.

This trial marks the first time a former U.S. president has been criminally tried, with Cohen at the center after a 15-year relationship with Trump.

The charges stem from a $130,000 payment Cohen made to ad**lt star Stormy Daniels, real name Stephanie Clifford, to keep quiet about her past encounter with Trump before the 2016 election.

Trump has denied these claims and labeled Cohen a “serial liar.”

Trump, running again in the upcoming November 5 election, faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to hide the payments. He has pleaded not guilty.

Cohen’s change of allegiance from Trump became apparent as he faced scrutiny from federal investigators about the payment to Daniels and other issues.

By 2019, he was testifying before a U.S. congressional committee: “I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat.”

Michael Cohen Key Witness in Trump Hush Money Trial
Michael Cohen to be Key Witness in Trump Hush Money Trial

In a recent 2023 interview with Reuters, after Trump’s indictment, Cohen mentioned that his cooperation with the authorities aimed to “speak truth to power,”

“If speaking truth to power makes me Donald’s archnemesis, so be it,” Cohen added.

Cohen has previously testified against Trump in a civil fraud case regarding the former president’s property valuations.

In October, he testified that he adjusted the valuations of Trump’s properties based on Trump’s directions.

Following these events, in February, a judge ruled that Trump must pay $454 million in penalties and interest for misleading lenders and insurers about the values of properties owned by the Trump Organization.

Cohen’s relationship with Trump began to unravel publicly after FBI raids on his office in 2018, which led to his cooperation with federal investigations.

Since his split from Trump, Cohen has written a book detailing his experiences and insights into Trump’s business and political dealings, further establishing his new role as a critic of the former president.

Now, as he stands as a witness in Trump’s criminal trial, Cohen’s transformation from loyalist to whistleblower reflects a significant and personal reckoning with his past actions and his former boss.

About the author

Nancy Beverly

Nancy Beverly is a prominent political journalist and editor at World-Wire, known for her sharp analysis and deep understanding of global politics. With a Master's degree in Political Science, she excels in breaking down complex political issues, making them relatable to the public. At World-Wire, Nancy crafts compelling political narratives covering everything from local governance to international relations. Recognized for her expertise, she received the 'Excellence in Political Journalism' award in 2021. Nancy's work not only informs but also enriches her readers' understanding of political dynamics.

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