Former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, delivered damning testimony against the ex-president in a civil fraud case. Cohen stated that he was directed by Trump to increase the valuation of his assets based on whimsical figures.
The Tuesday, October 24th courtroom encounter marked the first face-off between Trump, 77, and Cohen since their public fallout. With tensions palpable, Cohen, once dubbed Trump’s “pit bull,” claimed responsibility for participating in the alleged asset inflation, mentioning how he and ex-Trump Organization CFO, Allen Weisselberg, would adjust asset values to mirror figures dictated by Trump.
Trump, currently a prominent 2024 Republican presidential nominee contender, labeled Cohen a “fabricator” upon arriving at the courthouse. Trump’s disdain for Cohen traces back to 2019 when the latter’s Congress testimony triggered New York’s investigation into Trump’s potential asset value exaggerations. Their longstanding feud was further evident when Trump criticized Cohen in the press, stating his innocence regarding the financial statements.
Despite no obligation, Trump has occasionally attended the trial, framing himself as the target of a purported Democratic scheme aimed at his presidential ambitions. While Trump isn’t in jeopardy of imprisonment in this trial, NY Attorney General Letitia James seeks $250 million in fines and the removal of Trump and his two eldest sons from their real estate business leadership roles.
According to a report from CBS News, the ex-president also faces another criminal case in NY, with Cohen expected to testify again, related to alleged hush money paid to an adult film actress prior to the election. With Trump already slapped with 34 felony charges for alleged record falsification linked to the payment, he staunchly maintains his innocence.
Cohen’s 2018 sentencing to three years in prison for various violations saw an early release after just over 12 months. Trump, interestingly, withdrew a $500 million lawsuit against Cohen earlier this month, citing attorney-client privilege and confidentiality breaches. This retraction occurred days ahead of Trump’s slated deposition, a timing Cohen found worth noting.