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On redirect, Michael Cohen insists Trump Org payments were not a retainer at hush money trial

Molly Crane-Newman and Josephine Stratman, New York Daily News on

Published in Political News

NEW YORK — Michael Cohen testified that he stole from the Trump Organization when he returned to the witness stand for the end of his cross-examination Monday at Donald Trump’s hush money trial in Manhattan, as defense lawyers continued to attack the former fixer’s credibility.

Prosecutors begin redirect questioning

Starting redirect around noon, prosecutor Susan Hoffinger immediately brought up the 2017 email the defense highlighted as evidence of a retainer agreement. Under her questioning, Cohen said he’d never sent then-CFO Allen Weisselberg a retainer agreement.

“Because there was no legal work I was to be paid for,” Cohen said, reiterating that the $35,000 monthly checks were unrelated to a retainer, and that he was never paid for the small amount of legal work he did for Trump in 2017 and 2018.

Cohen said he lied about how much he was owed for paying Red Finch, the company that ran a rigged poll for the Trump campaign, because he was trying to get his money back after he felt he was stiffed by his employer on a bonus in December 2016.

“I was angered because of the reduction in the bonus, and so I just felt it was almost like self help,” Cohen said. Moments later he acknowledged to the prosecutor that what he did was wrong.

 

Cohen’s “financial interest”

Toward the end of his cross examination, Blanche asked Cohen if he had a “financial interest” in Trump’s potential conviction.

“I talk about it on my podcasts. I talk about it on TikTok,” Cohen responded. “And they make money and that’s how I was viewing your question. Whether Mr. Trump is ultimately determined innocent or guilty is not going to affect whether I speak about it or not.”

Trump had his arm slung on the back of his chair and was looking in Cohen’s direction.

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