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Donald Trump's lawyer just had a 'historic stumble' in court

Donald Trump's lawyer just had a 'historic stumble' in court
Donald Trump's lawyer just had a 'historic stumble' in court

 


During Tuesday's highly anticipated cross-examination of key prosecution witness Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's defense attorney Todd Blanche had a “historic stumble,” legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said.

In a video released Wednesday on YouTube, Kirschner, a former assistant U.S. attorney and frequent critic of the former president, said Cohen had “behaved well on the witness stand” while Tuesday's cross-examination was a “pretty historic stumble by Donald Trump's top criminal defense attorney, Todd”. White.” The defense team will resume its cross-examination today.

As a lawyer himself, Kirschner said it was “hard for me to imagine a worse introduction, a worse first question when cross-examining the most important witness in a high-profile trial.”

Newsweek emailed Kirschner seeking additional comment. Newsweek emailed Blanche during the trial hours.

The high-profile legal proceedings mark the first time in U.S. history that a former president has been tried in a criminal case. Trump currently faces 34 counts in a hush money case following an investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office. Trump was indicted in March 2023 for falsifying business records related to hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels by Cohen, his former lawyer and fixer, during the 2016 presidential race.

Daniels alleged she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which he denied. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all charges and said the charges against him were politically motivated.

In his video, Kirschner reads an excerpt from the court transcript provided by MSNBC, beginning with Blanche's first question to Cohen under cross-examination: “On April 23, after the trial in this case began, you went on TikTok and called me a “crying kid.” Shit, right?

Cohen responded, “That sounds like something I would say.”

Kirschner then detailed that there was an objection, which was sustained by Judge Juan Merchan, who Kirschner said indicated “it was an inappropriate question. It should not have been asked.”

Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in New York on May 14. Glenn Kirschner says Donald Trump's lawyer had a “historic stumble” while cross-examining Cohen during his secret trial. Former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen in New York on May 14. Glenn Kirschner says Donald Trump's lawyer had a “historic stumble” while cross-examining Cohen during his secret trial. David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

According to the transcript, Merchan then asked Blanche, “Why are you making this about yourself?” to which Blanche replied: “I'm not talking about myself, Your Honor. I have the right to show the bias of this witness, and he expressed bias against the lawyers simply because of who we represent.”

Merchan said: “It doesn't matter if he's prejudiced against you; that doesn't matter. The issue is whether he's prejudiced against the accused… but don't talk about you -even.”

“Ouch,” Kirschner said after reading the court transcript, adding that “the cross-examination didn’t get much better for Blanche or, by extension, for Donald Trump.”

Cohen is a disbarred attorney who has previously pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud, campaign finance violations and lying to Congress. Given Cohen's background, several in the legal community wondered how Cohen's testimony would hold up and what the prosecution's strategy was.

Janos Marton, candidate for Manhattan district attorney, previously told Newsweek that “it often seemed like Todd Blanche's goal in cross-examining Michael Cohen was to get him to rise,” adding that this was “not unreasonable given how unpredictable and uncontrollable Cohen was.” was a witness.”

“But for the most part, [Cohen] “He didn’t take the bait, sticking to Monday’s narrative about what he did for Trump and why,” Marton said.

Reflecting on the first day of Cohen's cross-examination, Eric C. Chaffee, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University, previously told Newsweek that “Although the exchanges between Todd Blanche and Cohen were comical at times, the defense failed to find a rhythm in his questioning.”

Former Trump lawyer Tim Parlatore told CNN that Blanche needed to “refocus on the inconsistencies in the testimony.” [Cohen’s] himself…and if you can show the jury, you know, really, that he lied about anything during questioning by prosecutors, I think that's going to be much more effective than just saying : “You said that on Tik I'm talking about Donald Trump.'”

Cohen, who is now a vocal critic of Trump, spoke on social media about the former president and the trial in the days leading up to his testimony. Less than two weeks before taking the helm, Cohen posted a TikTok while wearing a shirt that featured a photo of Trump in an orange jumpsuit behind bars.

On Tuesday, the prosecution announced that Cohen was their final witness. Kirschner says the ruling indicates that “the prosecution believes Michael Cohen is doing so well on the stand that he will be the last witness the jury hears from before prosecutors finish their case.”

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