Cohen’s Veracity on the Line

( – Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution of former president Donald Trump could have hit a snag. The main witness against him has taken the stand — but his performance wasn’t impressive. Michael Cohen has been forced to admit to lying and stealing.

On May 20, Cohen, who had given his testimony for the prosecution the week before, faced questions from Trump’s legal team. Attorney Todd Blanche forced Cohen — who was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion and campaign finance violations in 2018 — to admit that he’d stolen tens of thousands of dollars from the Trump Organization when he was Trump’s personal attorney.

In one incident, Cohen told Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg he needed to make a $50,000 payment to a tech company, Red Finch. In fact, the real bill was just $20,000, and Cohen pocketed the rest of the money himself. When Blanche confronted him in court, Cohen calmly admitted the theft. He also confirmed that he inflated bills to cover his own tax liabilities.

Now the New York Post is reporting that Cohen could have faced 15 years in jail for the theft. According to the newspaper, the attorney could have been charged with second-degree grand larceny — but he never was, despite having admitted the theft to multiple New York prosecutors before the five-year statute of limitations expired.

Cohen might have escaped prosecution for stealing Trump’s money, but his admissions aren’t going to help his credibility as a witness. Criminal defense attorney Michael Bachner, a former Manhattan public prosecutor, says Blanche has demonstrated that Cohen is a thief and liar who’s out for money.

That’s a blow to District Attorney Alvin Bragg; Cohen was the prosecution’s last witness and the one he’s been pinning his hopes on. There’s already been controversy over how much time the court has spent listening to irrelevant testimony from porn star Stormy Daniels. If the jury decides Cohen can’t be trusted, that leaves a big hole in his case against Trump.

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