Trump Lawyer Plays Cohen 'Revenge' Clip

At least 9 House Republicans were at courthouse
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2024 12:11 PM CDT
Updated May 16, 2024 4:34 PM CDT
Trump Lawyer Plays Cohen 'Revenge' Clip
Rep. Andy Ogles, left, and Rep. Matt Gaetz, listen as Donald Trump speaks to the press before his trial at Manhattan criminal court in New York, Thursday, May 16, 2024.   (Angela Weiss/Pool Photo via AP)

With Donald Trump's hush-money trial approaching its closing stages, more Republican lawmakers made the trip to Manhattan to show their support Thursday. The Hill reports that at least nine House lawmakers, including Reps. Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz, and Bob Good, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, were at the courthouse. At least one House hearing was rescheduled. On the trial's 18th day, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche continued to cross-examine Michael Cohen, attacking his credibility and motivation. Cohen will return to the stand on Monday—the trial is off on Friday so Trump can attend son Barron's high school graduation.

  • Blanche played recordings of Cohen's podcast, including one in which he celebrated Trump's 2023 indictment, CNN reports. In another clip, from 2020, Cohen said: "Revenge is a dish best served cold and you better believe I want this man to go down and rot inside for what he did to my family."

  • In what Nada Tawfik at the BBC calls a "brutal round of questioning" intended to persuade jurors Cohen is untrustworthy, Blanche grilled Cohen about his guilty plea to tax evasion in 2018 and previous times he had lied under oath. Cohen admitted he "pleaded guilty to crimes that he said he didn't commit, and lied to a judge in the process, in order to get a plea deal," Tawfik writes.
  • In a morning break in the trial, Trump's allies made remarks that Trump wouldn't be allowed to say under his gag order, the AP reports. Gaetz called Cohen a liar "who committed these lies for his own benefit." He described the case as the "Mr. Potato Head of crimes, where they had to stick together a bunch of things that did not belong together." Gaetz and other GOP lawmakers also attacked Judge Juan Merchan's daughter.
  • Blanche—seeking to portray Cohen as angry about not getting a job in Trump's administration—asked Cohen if he had wanted to work in the White House, the New York Times reports. Cohen said he "wanted a hybrid position, one where I would have the access to President Trump but not be a White House employee."
  • Cohen is the prosecution's final witness. NBC News reports that it's not clear whether the defense will call Trump or any other witnesses to testify, meaning closing arguments could start early next week.
The story has been updated to reflect the end of Thursday's testimony. (More Trump hush-money trial stories.)

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