Prosecution Rests in Donald Trump Business Records Trial

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg participates in a news conference in New York, Tue
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Democrat Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his team of prosecutors rested their case against former President Donald Trump on Monday afternoon, signaling that the end of the six-week trial is rapidly drawing near.

The defense could call more witnesses or have Trump take the stand, which the former president has not ruled out yet. However, if the defense also rests its case, the trial would move to closing arguments and then to the jury for deliberations.

On Monday, Trump’s defense team delivered yet another decisive blow to the prosecution’s “star witness,” Michael Cohen, by getting him to admit that he stole money from Trump.

During cross-examination, Trump’s lead defense attorney, Todd Blanche, asked Cohen if he “stole from the Trump Organization.”

“Yes, sir,” Cohen responded.

Michael Cohen (Andres Kudacki/AP)

Cohen admitted to charging Trump $100,000 to reimburse him for paying a tech firm to boost Trump’s poll rating but only paying the firm roughly $20,000 out of the $50,000 owed and pocketing the rest.

Cohen said he stole the money because it was “very upsetting” that his annual bonus had been cut after he had used $130,000 of his own money to pay adult film star Stormy Daniels.

“I was angry because of the reduction in the bonus, and, so, I felt it was almost like self-help,” Cohen said.

Blanche also got Cohen to express uncertainty about an October 26, 2017, evening call he claimed he had with Trump, during which he claimed Trump approved the payment to Daniels. Blanche produced phone records that cast into doubt whether Cohen had spoken to Trump at all that night.

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