Just a minute into cross examining star witness Michael Cohen, defense attorney Todd Blanche took a direct jab at one of the major issues hanging over Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case: Cohen’s credibility.

Blanche began by asking a question put to many witnesses, whether he and Cohen had ever spoken to each other before. But Blanche’s next question — which, like those that followed, was aimed at impugning Cohen’s character and highlighting his frequent insults against Trump on social media — was a little more unusual.

Blanche asked Cohen whether he had gone on TikTok and called him a “crying little sh*t” after the trial had started. “Sounds like something I would say,” Cohen replied. The response was standard whenever Blanche brought up Cohen’s past statements, such as calling Trump a “boorish, cartoon misogynist” on the first episode of his podcast.

The examples were only a few Blanche used to demonstrate that Cohen simply cannot stop talking about Trump, even when instructed to do so by prosecutors.


Blanche’s questions frequently jumped back and forth in time and, so far, have not really addressed the substance of the charges. But they all had one central thrust: highlighting Michael Cohen’s motives and questionable credibility.

To highlight his motives, Blanche went on to ask about Cohen’s hopes that cooperating with investigators would result in a reduction in his sentence and the money he made from his book, media appearances and podcast, where he frequently talks about Trump.


Blanche likewise pointed out Cohen’s desire for Trump to be convicted — a desire Cohen has repeatedly vocalized. The jury at one point saw a t-shirt from Cohen’s podcast store showing Trump in an orange jumpsuit behind bars, which Blanche noted he wore on his TikTok live stream just last week. Judge Juan Merchan on Friday instructed prosecutors to tell Cohen to stop speaking publicly about Trump and the case.

At one point, Blanche asked Cohen whether he was lying in the past when he voiced his admiration of Trump and praised him in public statements. “At that time, I was knee deep into the cult of Donald Trump,” he said.

In the morning, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger concluded direct examination by asking Cohen if he had “any regrets” about his past association with Trump. He said he did not regret working at the Trump Organization but did regret doing things for Trump that he “should not have.” “I violated my moral compass,” Cohen said. “And I suffered the penalty.”

Cohen explained his later change in attitude toward Trump as a decision over loyalty. He said he decided to listen to his family. “Why are you holding onto this loyalty?,” he said, recalling discussions with family while he was facing investigation by Southern District of New York federal prosecutors in 2018. “We’re supposed to be your first loyalty.”

On Monday, Cohen testified that Trump both directed him to make the payment to Stormy Daniels and supported the plan to reimburse him with allegedly falsified business records that is at the heart of the case. Continuing on this point, Cohen said Tuesday that he discussed the reimbursement payments with Trump during a private Feb. 8, 2017, conversation in the Oval Office.

The defense will continue its cross examination of Cohen on Thursday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *