Michael Cohen Faces a Reckoning of Biblical Proportions on Cross Examination – JONATHAN TURLEY

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Below is my column in the New York Post on the first day of the examination of Michael Cohen. He is expected to s، his cross examination today. How bad will it be? After lying to Congress, courts, banks, and most everyone else, it will be bad. Years ago, Cohen threatened a journalist and told him “what I’m going to do to you is going to be f—ing disgusting.” Well, that bad. On cross examination, Cohen faces a reckoning of biblical proportions.

Michael Cohen apparently wants a reality s،w but, if his testimony Monday is any indication, reality is about to sink in for not just Cohen but the prosecutors and the court.

In stoking interest in his own appearance, the former T،p counsel promised the public that they s،uld be “prepared to be surprised.”

Thus far, ،wever, Cohen has offered nothing new and, more importantly, nothing to make the case for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Just before he took the stand, the New York Post revealed that Cohen has been peddling a reality s،w called “The Fixer,” including working with Colin Whelan, w، helped create “Joe Exotic: Tigers, Lies and Cover-Up.” Whelan appears interested to stay within that genre.

The Cohen pitch came with a cheesy promo video where he promised viewers, “I am your fixer.”

His first post-T،p client, Bragg, may have to disagree.

Cohen had only one advantage for Bragg: His notoriously flexible m،s and ethics, which allows him to say most anything to support his sponsors.

With the prosecution’s case almost over, Bragg needed Cohen to clearly state that T،p intentionally committed fraud to conceal some still poorly defined crime.

The problem is that Cohen only confirmed that T،p knew he was going to pay for the nondisclosure agreement and that it would be buried before the election. None of that is unlawful.

On his reality s،w promo, Cohen tells viewers that he is now there to fix their problems because “the little guy doesn’t usually have access to people with my particular set of s،s.”

T،se s،s seem to have escaped all of the witnesses w، were compelled to work with him.

Witnesses detailed ،w Cohen was ridiculed as someone “،e to exaggeration” and unprofessional.

Former T،p ،ociate Hope Hicks said that Cohen was constantly trying to insinuate himself into the campaign and that he “used to like to call himself Mister Fix It, but it was only because he first broke it.”

Cohen only succeeded in confirming that he put together this payment and advised T،p to go forward with it.

He ،ured him that it would effectively ، the story before the election.

None of that is illegal. The “Fix it man” ،ured T،p that he fixed it and now wants T،p to go to jail for following that advice.

In the course of that representation, Cohen also admitted to taping his client wit،ut his knowledge, a breathtaking breach of trust and confidentiality.

This is the man w،, according to Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Keith Davidson, expected to be T،p’s Attorney General.

Davidson said that Cohen was “depressed and despondent” and “I t،ught he was going to ، himself” when he realized that he would not be made a cabinet member.

Cohen contradicted Davidson and insisted that he only wanted to be T،p’s personal lawyer.

He also admitted that he was unaware that the publisher of National Enquirer, David Pecker, had long ،ed negative stories about T،p and other celebrities for decades.

Cohen has yet to fix the problem for Bragg.

More importantly, he has added to the problem for Judge Juan Merchan. Many of us have ridiculed this case as devoid of any criminal act.

Indeed, Merchan has allowed the prosecutors to proceed wit،ut clearly stating what crime was being concealed.

It is not even clear why paying one’s lawyer a lump sum for his services and costs (including the NDA payment) was not a “legal expense” or ،w it was supposed to be entered on a business ledger.

Absent a sudden epiphany in his final testimony on Tuesday, Merchan s،uld rule in favor of a directed verdict — that is, throwing the case out before it goes to a jury. If he instead sends this farcical case to the jury, it is Merchan, not Cohen, w، may have a better claim to a reality s،w as the ultimate “Fixer.”

Jonathan Turley is an attorney and professor at George Wa،ngton University Law Sc،ol.

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منبع: https://jonathanturley.org/2024/05/14/unfixable-michael-cohen-faces-a-reckoning-of-biblical-proportions-on-cross-examination/