Michael Cohen returns for second day of testimony at Trump trial

Michael Cohen is back on the witness stand in former President Donald Trump’s New York trial for his second day of testimony against his longtime boss.

Cohen served as Trump’s personal attorney for nearly a decade before he entered the White House in 2017. Cohen testified on Monday that Trump directly approved of a plan to reimburse him for a $130,000 payment he made before the 2016 election to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who was selling her story of an alleged sexual encounter with Trump. 

Those reimbursements were made over the course of a year and were characterized as payments for Cohen’s legal services in the Trump Organization’s records. Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, one charge for each invoice, check and voucher created in connection with the payments to Cohen. He has pleaded not guilty and denies having sex with Daniels.

On the stand Monday, Cohen said Trump signed off on the plan to reimburse him during a meeting at Trump Tower. He told jurors that Trump was shown notes from a Trump Organization executive tallying the total amount he was owed: $420,000, which included enough to cover taxes and a bonus for Cohen.

Trump’s attorneys have not yet had their chance to question Cohen. They are expected to zero in on Cohen’s extensive credibility issues. The former attorney previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and has admitted to lying under oath several other times. 

The defense is also likely to question Cohen’s motivations for testifying. Since falling out of favor with Trump in 2018, Cohen has become a vocal critic of his former boss, using his books, podcasts and media appearances to cheerlead the cases against him.

Trump is being joined at the courthouse on Tuesday by a number of prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Mike Johnson, who is set to speak about the trial later in the morning.

This post was originally published on CBS News

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