Cohen testifies in hush money trial that he 'enjoyed' working for Trump

Michael Cohen, who worked as Donald Trump's attorney, is considered a key witness as the former president faces charges for falsifying business records.
Posted at 5:25 AM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-13 07:25:00-04

The ex-lawyer for former President Donald Trump has taken the witness stand in the first criminal case against a U.S. president.

Michael Cohen, a former friend and fixer turned foe, is a pivotal figure in the case as prosecutors try to prove the former president falsified business records to hide payments to Cohen that were meant for porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, as well as a former doorman at Trump Tower. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg alleges Trump did it in an attempt to conceal an "illegal scheme to influence the 2016 presidential election" by trying to cover up extramarital affairs.

Trump has described the nature of the payments to Cohen as "a legal expense."

Former president Donald Trump addresses the media.

Trump on Trial

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Scripps News Staff
12:26 PM, May 10, 2024

With Cohen on the stand Monday, prosecutors first tried to establish his relationship with Trump.

“Working for him those 10 years was an amazing experience in many, many ways," Cohen said. "There were great times, there were several less-than-great times. For the most part, I enjoyed the responsibilities that were given to me. I enjoyed working with my colleagues, the Trump children. It was a big family."

Trump's defense lawyers are expected to present an intense cross-examination of Cohen, who by his own admission has lied in court and pleaded guilty to lying to Congress.

Knowing that would likely be the defense's strategy, the prosecution spent the morning asking Cohen questions that could be corroborated with physical evidence, like emails and phone records.

Trump faces 34 felony counts for falsifying business records, which are considered a Class E felony — the lowest among felony counts in New York. The charges are arguably the least serious among the four criminal cases Trump faces.