NY v. Trump: DA's witness testifies Trump did not direct him on Cohen repayments

Date:

Former President Donald Trump did not personally direct a Trump Organization executive to set up reimbursement payments to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, according to witness testimony Monday in the NY v. Trump case. 

“Michael Cohen was a lawyer?” defense attorney Emil Bove asked former Trump Organization controller Jeffrey McConney Monday at the start of the fourth week of the trial.

“Sure, yes,” McConney responded. 

“And payments to lawyers by the Trump Organization are legal expenses, right?” asked Bove.

“Yes,” said McConney.

LIVE UPDATES: EX-TRUMP ORG CONTROLLER TAKES STAND AS PROSECUTORS BUILD TO MICHAEL COHEN TESTIMONY

“President Trump did not ask you to do any of the things you just described … correct?” Bove asked.

“He did not,” McConney replied.

NY V. TRUMP TO RESUME MONDAY AFTER EVENTFUL THIRD WEEK OF TESTIMONY, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF GAG ORDER FINES

Trump is in Manhattan for the fourth week of trial, where he is facing 34 counts of falsifying business records. The NY v. Trump case focuses on Trump’s former attorney Cohen paying former pornographic actor Stormy Daniels $130,000 to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with the then-real estate tycoon in 2006. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.

former President Donald Trump chatting with lawyer in court sketch

Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses. Prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which is a felony. 

McConney, who served as the Trump Organization’s controller for more than two decades, took the stand Monday, where he was grilled by both prosecutors and the defense team. 

HOPE HICKS: COHEN CALLED HIMSELF ‘MR. FIX IT’ ONLY BECAUSE HE ‘BROKE IT’

McConney testified that he was directed by former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg to reimburse Cohen with $35,000 per month payments, with the last being sent to Cohen in December of 2017.

Michael Cohen in dark jacket frowning outside building

McConney also detailed that Cohen was initially reimbursed through a trust, before switching to payments from Trump’s personal account. An email from McConney to Cohen was entered into evidence, which showed the controller replying to Cohen and confirming that checks would have to be sent to the White House to be signed by Trump.

Cohen was paid a total of $420,000, according to the testimony, a sum that was “grossed up” so Cohen wouldn’t lose money through taxes. 

NY V. TRUMP: WITNESS SAYS COHEN DREAMED OF WHITE HOUSE JOB DESPITE DENYING AMBITIONS IN HOUSE TESTIMONY

His testimony during cross-examination bolstered the Trump team’s defense, with the executive outlining that the 45th president did not have an active role in the reimbursements to Cohen. 

Stormy Daniels, adult film actress

“And as far as you know, President Trump did not ask anyone to do those things?” Bove continued, as prosecutors objected. 

“In none of the conversations that you had with Mr. Weisselberg, did he suggest that President Trump had told him to do these things?” Bove pressed.

HUSH MONEY TRIAL JUDGE DOUBLES DOWN ON NOT SHOWING TRUMP ‘ACCESS HOLLYWOOD’ TAPE TO JURORS

“Allen never told me that,” McConney said.

Donald Trump in Manhattan courtroom

TRUMP DELIVERS PIZZA TO NEW YORK CITY FIREFIGHTERS IN CAMPAIGN STOP AFTER DAY IN COURT

McConney is the prosecution team’s 10th witness since the trial began in mid-April. Last week, the court heard from Keith Davidson, an attorney who once represented Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal; computer forensic analyst for the DA’s office, Doug Daus; bank executive Gary Farro; and Hope Hicks, who worked for the Trump Organization and later served as Trump’s press secretary during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

The Trump trial is expected to last at least six weeks. Trump has railed against the case as a “scam” promoted by the Biden administration ahead of the 2024 election. 

Earlier Monday, presiding Judge Juan Merchan said he will consider a jail sentence for Trump if he continues to violate a gag order. The gag order prevents Trump from making or directing others to make public statements about witnesses and their potential participation, or remarks about court staff, DA staff or family members of staff.

 

The DA’s office argued that Trump had violated the order more than a dozen times, with the judge ruling last week that Trump violated the order nine times, resulting in a combined $9,000 fine. Merchan fined the former president another $1,000 for an additional violation on Monday, while arguing it’s “clear” that $1,000 fines for each violation are not effective.

“The last thing I want to consider is jail,” Merchan said. “You are [the] former president and possibly the next president.” 

Fox News Digital’ Brooke Singman and Michael Lee contributed to this report. 

Read the full article here

spot_img

Share post:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Popular

More like this
Related

US Army vessels supporting Gaza aid break free, beach on Israeli coast

Four U.S. Army vessels supporting the maritime humanitarian aid...

WHO Fails To Get Agreement On The Text Of The Pandemic Treaty But It Is Not Over Yet

This article was originally published by Rhoda Wilson at...

Former President Obama surprises volunteers at Memorial Day event

Veterans of Foreign War Post 609 typically draws in...

Monstrum Scope Mounts: Wildly Inexpensive Mounts That Work

“If you’re going to buy an Amazon scope mount,...