Hush money trial: Michael Cohen’s damning testimony against Trump

In a gripping chapter of what could shape the future of a former US President, Donald Trump‘s intimate involvement in a hush money scheme has been laid bare by Michael Cohen, his former attorney and fixer. The trial, which revolves around efforts to suppress stories potentially harmful to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has seen Cohen testifying in detail about the then-candidate’s direct engagement with the payment processes.These revelations underscore the legal entanglements facing Trump, as Cohen’s testimony connects him to deliberate efforts to influence the election outcome by silencing accusations of past indiscretions.
Cohen, once a close confidant of Trump, has transformed into a crucial adversary, delivering testimony that paints a vivid picture of Trump’s command over the secretive payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal. This testimony not only highlights the lengths gone to protect Trump’s campaign image but also raises significant questions about the legality of these actions. As the trial progresses, the implications of Cohen’s revelations are set to challenge the legal defenses of the former president, potentially altering his political and personal future.
Here are all you need to know:
What specific role did Donald Trump play in the hush money scheme, according to Michael Cohen?
Michael Cohen testified that Donald Trump was “intimately involved” and that “everything required Mr Trump’s sign-off.” This included direct approvals and discussions about how payments should be made to suppress damaging stories during the campaign.
What were the allegations that prompted the hush money payments?
The payments were aimed at suppressing stories about Trump’s past sexual encounters that could harm his presidential campaign in 2016. These included allegations by porn actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom claimed to have had affairs with Trump.
How did Trump allegedly ensure these stories were suppressed?
According to Cohen, Trump orchestrated payments to the individuals through legal and media channels. This involved setting up a shell company and arranging for payments to be made under the guise of legal fees, with Trump personally promising to reimburse Cohen for fronting the money.
What risks does Cohen’s testimony pose to Donald Trump?
Cohen’s testimony potentially increases Trump’s legal exposure. If the jury finds Cohen credible, it could lead to convictions on several charges of falsifying business records, each linked to the payments and their cover-up as legal expenses.
Has Trump responded to the allegations made during the trial?
Trump has pleaded not guilty and denied the sexual encounters with Daniels and McDougal. His defense argues that the payments were personal in nature, intended to protect his family from embarrassment, and not related to the campaign.
What could be the political implications of this trial for Trump?
The trial could significantly impact Trump’s image and his political future, especially as he campaigns for the presidency. How the public perceives the trial’s outcomes could influence his standing with voters and within the Republican Party.
(With inputs from agencies)


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