Sun. May 26th, 2024
alert-–-donald-trump-returns-to-manhattan-courthouse-to-face-off-with-former-fixer-and-personal-lawyer-michael-cohen-who-is-set-testify-against-the-president-at-his-$250m-fraud-trialAlert – Donald Trump returns to Manhattan courthouse to face off with former fixer and personal lawyer Michael Cohen who is set testify against the president at his $250M fraud trial

Donald Trump was stony-faced as he arrived in a New York courtroom on Tuesday to face off with his archnemesis, lawyer Michael Cohen.

It is the first time two will be seen in the same room since their relationship deteriorated as Cohen is set to take the stand for his highly anticipated testimony against the former president in his civil case in New York.

The former attorney, 57, was seen leaving his Park Avenue apartment Tuesday morning and heading to New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan for the fourth week of proceedings in the $250million fraud trial. 

‘This is about accountability, plain and simple,’ Cohen told reporters as he entered the courthouse, adding that it was up to the judge to make any determinations in the case. 

Donald Trump return to court on Tuesday to come face to face with his confidant turned sworn enemy Michael Cohen, who is set to testify against him at his New York civil trial

A grinning Michael Cohen, 57, was seen arriving at court for the fourth week of Trump’s $250million fraud trial

Before proceedings could begin, Trump’s lawyers attempted to delay the trial citing an ‘outbreak’ of Covid-19 among lawyers from both sides

Trump skipped his usual campaign haunts to appear in the Manhattan courtroom for the confrontation for the sixth time this month. 

Before proceedings could begin, Trump’s lawyers claimed the trial should be delayed because of an ‘outbreak’ of Covid-19 among lawyers from both sides.

Attorney Christopher Kise took a dramatically different tone about the pandemic than Trump did while in office as he asked the judge to pause the trial.

Kise said that the New York State Attorney General’s office knew one of its staff had Covid last Wednesday but only told them about it on Saturday.

Since then four Attorney General’s lawyers had tested positive and one lawyer from Mr. Trump’s team, the court heard.

Kise said it was ‘beyond irresponsible’ not to have told the Trump team earlier. He accused New York Attorney General Letitia James of being ‘really hypocritical’ because she sued Amazon over its Covid practices and publicly stated that protecting people’s health was a priority.

Kise said that Trump was the ‘leading candidate for President of the United States’ and that the prosecution was ‘exposing’ him to Covid.

Another of Trump’s lawyers called the infections an ‘outbreak’ and that it was ‘incredibly problematic’ to continue the trial.

Judge Arthur Engoron said that masks were available and that he would move ahead with the trial.

Alina Habba, another of Trump’s lawyers, said she would refuse to use the same microphone as lawyers from the Attorney General’s office in case they were ‘contaminated’.

Cohen was seen leaving his Park Avenue apartment ahead of his highly anticipated court appearance 

The testimony marks the latest chapter in Cohen’s transition from Trump’s most loyal confidant – who once declared he’d ‘take a bullet’ for the president – to his sworn enemy

Speaking to reporters as he entered the courtroom, Trump took aim at Cohen, noting that he had served prison time after pleading guilty to tax evasion, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations

During his presidency Trump refused to wear a mask despite contracting Covid, reportedly because he didn’t like seeing his bronzer on the mask.

He also hosted multiple parties in the White House which were regarded as ‘super spreader’ events where numerous people contracted Covid.

Cohen, who has become one of Trump’s most vocal critics after serving as his personal lawyer and fixer for years, was originally scheduled to testify last week but had to delay his appearance for health reasons.

Tuesday’s face-off is the first between the two since 2018 – when the president’s staunch defender famously turned against Trump amid a federal investigation that sent Cohen to federal prison.

Cohen is also set to serve as a major prosecution witness in Trump’s separate Manhattan hush-money criminal case, which is scheduled to go to trial next spring. 

New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, a Democrat, has credited Cohen as the impetus for her civil investigation, which led to the fraud lawsuit being decided at the trial. 

She is seeking $250million and to effectively put Trump’s real estate business out of operating in New York state for allegedly inflating the value of its empire by more than $2billion a year.

During opening statements, Trump’s lawyers called Cohen a ‘serial liar,’ citing his two guilty pleas in 2018 on felony charges including tax evasion and lying to Congress during a probe of Trump’s Russia ties.

A judge has already ruled that fraud did occur and the trial is to determine what the penalty should be.

The testimony marks the latest chapter in Cohen’s transformation from a man who, as he once put it, would ‘take a bullet for Mr. Trump’ into one of his greatest tormentors.

Cohen worked as Trump’s lawyer for more than a decade during which time he was deeply involved in his personal affairs and his real estate business.

Media and camera crews are seen setting up outside the courthouse ahead of the highly anticipated proceedings 

New York Attorney General Letitia James is seen arriving at New York State Supreme Court Tuesday morning

He sometimes acted like a mob henchman and once threatened to do ‘something f****** disgusting’ to a journalist who was writing about his former boss.

But Cohen split from Trump in 2018 when he cooperated with prosecutors investigating the former President’s $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

He was jailed for three years in 2019 after pleading guilty to tax crimes, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress.

As Cohen walked into the court in New York, Trump, who was sitting with his lawyers

Cohen’s testimony before Congress in 2019 was the spark for the New York state Attorney investigation as he claimed that Trump inflated the value of his properties to get better interest rates on loans and insurance.

In his testimony before a House committee, Cohen said his ‘blind loyalty’ to Trump took him down a ‘path of darkness instead of light’.

He said: ‘I am ashamed of my weakness and misplaced loyalty – of the things I did for Mr. Trump in an effort to protect and promote him.

‘I am ashamed that I chose to take part in concealing Mr. Trump’s illicit acts rather than listening to my own conscience’.

Cohen wrote a memoir titled ‘Revenge’ in which he continued to mock Trump as a ‘cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man’.

Trump is not required to attend the proceedings, but he has showed up sporadically throughout the trial this month. He is pictured in court sitting with his legal team last Wednesday

In July Trump settled a $1.3million lawsuit brought by Cohen against him for legal fees stemming from when he still worked for the former President.

Cohen claimed that Trump stopped paying his legal bills when he began cooperating with prosecutors.

Since then Trump has sued Cohen for $500 million for allegedly violating attorney-client privilege in his frequent media appearances and on his podcast.

Ahead of the hearing Cohen mocked Trump by posting on social media site Threads: ‘It appears that I will be reunited with my old client @realDonaldTrump when I testify this Tuesday, October 24th at the @NewYorkStateAG civil fraud trial’.

In a Trumpian flourish, he added: ‘See you there’.

Trump has attended the trial numerous days even though he is not expected to be there and has made frequent statements outside the court.

Last week the judge overseeing the case fined him $5,000 for posting online about his clerk, which he expressly forbade the week before.

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