Michael Cohen Claims Trump ‘Approved’ Hush Money Payment, Defense Alleges He Wants ‘Revenge’

Michael Cohen, ex-lawyer for Donald Trump, delivered significant testimony on Monday in the trial concerning Trump’s alleged payment of hush money. His insights as a former insider could prove pivotal for prosecutors seeking to strengthen their case.

Sharing about his ten-year “amazing experience”, Cohen depicted his time with Trump as “amazing,” highlighting an atmosphere where Trump’s approval pushed him to take extreme measures, like lying, bullying, and issuing legal threats. His testimony revealed insights into his duties as Trump’s confidant, roles he previously described as being a “pitbull” and “fixer.”

During his testimony, Cohen disclosed direct communication with Trump, noting Trump’s lack of an email address and affirming his role as Trump’s personal “fixer.” Earlier in May, former aide Hope Hicks testified that Cohen referred to himself as “Mr. Fix It,” albeit, as she remarked, he often caused the initial problem himself.

Cohen outlined his participation in purchasing tabloid stories, a key aspect of the trial involving 34 charges of falsifying business records.

In a courtroom revelation, prosecutors played a secret recording wherein President Trump discussed a $150,000 payment, suggesting reimbursement for buying up a story that could harm his campaign.

Other witnesses who testified characterized these events as unpleasant because of Mr. Cohen’s involvement.

Cohen asserted that President Trump was informed about and endorsed monthly repayments coordinated by former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg for the “hush money.” These payments were structured as monthly installments for “legal services rendered,” totaling $35,000 per month.

“I was being given the title of personal attorney to the president,” Mr. Cohen said, adding when asked that President Trump had “approved it.”

Cohen recounted a tradition where year-end bonuses were given out through Christmas cards signed by President Trump and colleagues. He shared his frustration upon receiving his 2016 bonus, expressing anger at its reduction by two-thirds.

He said that he was “beyond angry” and felt personally hurt and insulted that he had paid $130,000 and not been reimbursed.

“I was truly insulted, personally hurt, didn’t understand it, made no sense,” he said. “After all that I had gone through in terms of the campaign as well as things the Trump Organization was laying out, $130,000 to protect him, it was insulting that the gratitude shown back to me was to cut my bonus by two thirds.”

Cohen represents the clearest connection prosecutors possess to President Trump’s alleged personal awareness or involvement in a deal intended to influence the 2016 elections.

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By Hunter Fielding
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