Michael Cohen testifies in hush-money trial that he embezzled from Trump Organization

The ongoing criminal trial related to the $130,000 hush-money payment made by Michael Cohen to adult film star Stormy Daniels has brought the actions of former President Donald Trump into focus. Cohen testified that he knew the payment violated election law, contradicting his previous claims in a 2018 letter. This revelation implicates Trump in the violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act, as the payment was intended to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

As Trump faces 34 counts of felony falsification of business records, the prosecution must prove that he authorized the hush-money repayments to be falsely categorized as legal expenses in the Trump Organization’s records for the purpose of committing a second election-related crime. The case against Trump stems from his efforts to suppress negative stories about alleged sexual encounters just before the 2016 election.

Cohen’s testimony has been pivotal in linking Trump to the hush-money deal, despite attempts by the defense to undermine his credibility. The defense argues that Cohen orchestrated the repayment scheme with Trump’s lieutenants, not directly with the former president himself. However, Cohen admitted to inflating expenses in order to receive a larger bonus from the Trump Organization in 2016.

As the trial progresses, Trump’s legal team is weighing the decision of whether he should testify in his defense. Many legal experts caution against this move due to Trump’s history of making self-incriminating statements. The judge overseeing the case still needs to issue jury instructions, delaying the closing arguments.

Despite the challenges in Cohen’s credibility, his testimony remains crucial in linking Trump to the hush-money scheme. The defense has attempted to paint Cohen as a dishonest witness with ulterior motives, suggesting that his goal is to see Trump imprisoned. However, the prosecution continues to present evidence tying Trump to the illegal activities.

As the trial nears its conclusion, the stakes remain high for both Trump and Cohen. The outcome of the case will have significant implications for the former president and could potentially lead to further legal consequences. It remains to be seen how the trial will ultimately impact the individuals involved and the larger political landscape.

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