Trump Lawyers Accuse Michael Cohen of Lying About Key Phone Call

President Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen was grilled by defense attorneys on May 16 about a key phone call that Mr. Cohen had previously testified about.

Considered the key witness in President Trump’s Manhattan case, Mr. Cohen previously alleged that President Trump approved of reimbursements to him to pay an adult film performer Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, during the 2016 election. Now, President Trump’s lawyers are asking him numerous questions about previous statements he has made, attempting to undermine his credibility and previous testimony.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche grilled Mr. Cohen about a pivotal phone call that had connected President Trump to the allegations at the center of the case. He accused Mr. Cohen of calling the former president’s bodyguard Keith Schiller to complain about harassing phone calls—not to disclose an update on a plan to purchase the silence of Ms. Clifford.

Mr. Cohen said that the prank calls were a part of the conversation with Mr. Schiller.

“Now your memory is that you were testifying truthfully on Tuesday, and you had enough time to update Mr. Schiller about all the problems you were having with these harassing calls?” Mr. Blanche asked him.

“I always run everything by the boss immediately,” Mr. Cohen said. “It could’ve just been me saying, ‘Everything’s been taken care of, it’s been resolved.’”

“That was a lie. You did not talk to President Trump that night,” Mr. Blanche said. “You can admit it.”

“No sir, I can’t,” Mr. Cohen said. “Because I’m not sure that’s accurate.”

“This jury doesn’t want to hear what you think happened,” Mr. Blanche said.

Mr. Cohen testified earlier in the week that he called Mr. Schiller just after 8 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2016, as a way of getting ahold of President Trump because he knew he’d be with him. But the attorney noted that at the time, Mr. Cohen was dealing with a spate of harassing phone calls and had exchanged text messages with the supposed harasser just before contacting Mr. Schiller.

Mr. Blanche cited text message records showing Mr. Cohen messaged Mr. Schiller at 7:48 p.m. regarding the caller, who’d identified himself as a 14-year-old boy who’d promised not to do it again. “Who can I speak to about harassing calls to my cell and office,” Mr. Cohen wrote to the bodyguard.

Mr. Blanche then cited phone records showing Mr. Schiller calling Mr. Cohen and leaving a voicemail at 8:01 p.m., followed by a text message at 8:02 p.m. stating, “Call me.” Mr. Cohen then called Mr. Schiller’s number.

The conversation lasted 1 minute and 36 seconds, phone records show, and Mr. Blanche said Mr. Cohen’s claim that he was talking to President Trump about the Daniels deal “was a lie” because he was “actually talking to Mr. Schiller about getting harassing phone calls from a 14-year-old.”

“Part of it was about the phone calls, but I knew that Keith was with Mr. Trump at the time, and it was more than potentially just this,” Mr. Cohen responded.

But Mr. Cohen stood by his previous testimony, claiming he believes he spoke with President Trump and his bodyguard at the time. Judge Juan Merchan then recessed the court for lunch.

Also on May 16, Mr. Blanche questioned Mr. Cohen about aspirations of receiving the title of special counsel to President Trump.

“My daughter may have called it special counsel to the president. The role I had asked President Trump for was personal attorney to the president,” he said, referring to texts with his daughter. He wanted a hybrid role in the White House that had access to the president but was also outside the federal government.

When Mr. Blanche asked Mr. Cohen if he had wanted to work inside the White House, Mr. Cohen responded: “No sir.”  The defense attorney also asked Mr. Cohen if he had wanted to be the Trump chief of staff, to which he also replied no.

Mr. Blanche had outlined conversations that Mr. Cohen had at the time with other people about the possibility of being President Trump’s chief of staff.

The former president has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records. The trial is expected to last for another one or two weeks.

On May 15, during a break in the trial, a former legal adviser to Mr. Cohen told a congressional panel that he believes that Mr. Cohen acted on his own and was trying to get in the good graces of the former president.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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