Attorneys Tell CNN Trump Defense ‘Knocked’ Michael Cohen Down and Put Him ‘On the Mat’

by Jason Cohen


CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson and criminal defense attorney Bill Brennan, who previously represented former President Donald Trump, said that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s star witness Michael Cohen experienced a beatdown on Thursday.

Cohen, who previously represented Trump, testified under cross-examination again Thursday, with legal commentators raising the prospect the witness committed perjury. Jackson and Brennan agreed on “CNN News Central” that Cohen’s testimony was brutal for the witness and that Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanch made significant progress during the cross-examination.

“Wow! … If not a knock-out punch, it certainly put him on the mat, right? And knocked him down,” Jackson told host Sarah Sidner. “Whether the prosecution could get up is the open question. Why? What generally happens, Sarah, is that when you have adverse information that is information damaging to your case, one, your testimony on direct, sir, there’s a time you made a phone call to the president? Yes. Tell us about that phone call. What was the nature of the discussion? You discuss two things. You discuss a 14-year-old harassing you, right? And you discuss something else in addition to telling the president, didn’t take you long, did it? Then you get to the conversation.”

DCNF-logo“There was no mention at all with respect to any 14-year-old, any harassing anything at all,” Jackson added. “And so now you have the defense in cross giving that call context talking about the 96 seconds, short period of time, talking about your preoccupation with this 14-year-old harasser, talking about how that was on your mind, but now all of a sudden this is what you talked about. Major disconnect, major problem, big point for the defense.”

Blanche confronted Cohen about his previous lies while under oath, including to Congress and a federal judge, inquiring whether he took an identical oath prior to testifying then as he did to testify in Trump’s trial. Blanche accused Cohen of lying when he testified Tuesday that he had called Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, on Oct. 24, 2016, to talk about the circumstances of paying porn star Stormy Daniels.

“That was a lie!” Blanche yelled at Cohen. “You did not talk to President Trump on that night … You talked to Keith Schiller.”

Blanche noted text messages Cohen sent minutes ahead of the phone conversation inquiring how he should manage a 14-year-old’s harassing phone calls to him, to which Schiller responded, “call me.”

“I think Joey really nailed it,” Brennan said. If it’s not a knock-out punch, it‘s a standing eight count and, you know, there were a lot of critics of the way that Mr. Blanche began his cross but cross is a rhythmic operation. You gotta get your pace, get your rhythm. I think he‘s doing a marvelous job and you don’t open with your best stuff. He had that, I‘m sure he’s had it for a year and he bided his time and he let it out at the precise moment it would do the most effective damage. Not only does it make the prosecution look unprepared, because as Joey said, they should have gotten this out first to avoid the shock value.”

“There’s just a seedy nature to the other reason for the call. He‘s fighting with a 14-year-old child, but what‘s 14? Seventh grade, eighth grade,” Brennan continued. “I mean, this guy never heard of call block? It’s going to taint him to the jury. He wants to take a 14-year-old kid and report him or her to the Secret Service. Blanche has caught Mr. Cohen in lie upon lie upon lie. Now, it’s kind of like fishing in a pond that’s stocked. You’re guaranteed to get something with Cohen. You’re going to get lies. But this has really been a strong cross-examination and a strong couple days for the defense. And if the whole case rises and falls on Cohen, I don’t think 12 people will vote to convict.”

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Jason Cohen is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Michael Cohen” by The Circus CC3.0 and “Donald Trump” by President Donald J. Trump. Background photo “New York Supreme Court” by Beyond My Ken CC4.0. 



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