OAN’s Stephanie Stahl
2:00 PM – Tuesday, October 24, 2023
Michael Cohen, once a steadfast aide to Donald Trump, appeared as a witness in a $250 million civil fraud trial against the former 45th president.
On Tuesday, Cohen took the witness stand, informing the judge that Trump had allegedly instructed him to manipulate financial records when he worked as his lawyer and “fixer.”
According to his claims, Trump directed Cohen and former Trump Org. CFO Allen Weisselberg to modify documents that represented his net worth and inflate his assets.
Cohen also alleged that when they would show Trump his financial statements, “he would look at the total assets and say, ‘I’m actually not worth $4.5 billion. I am really worth more like $6 billion.’”
“He would ask Allen and I to go back to the office and return with the desired goal,” Cohen said.
Cohen plays a pivotal role as a key witness in Attorney General (AG) Tish James’ lawsuit against Trump.
The case claims that Trump, along with his older sons and business associates, artificially increased his net worth to secure advantageous terms from banks and insurers. Cohen’s testimony on Tuesday represents a new chapter in his campaign to challenge Trump, following previous years of staunchly supporting him.
The support stopped five years ago when Cohen admitted guilt in federal campaign finance violations, which he and federal prosecutors claimed were at the direction of Trump.
Since then, Cohen has openly characterized his former boss as a coward and a “con-man.”
Cohen also testified that Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump, the former president’s three eldest children, contributed to his financial documents by providing details about the projects they were overseeing. At that time, all three held executive positions at the Trump Organization.
Ivanka Trump, however, stepped down from her role in the company when she joined the White House.
During a lunch break, reporters asked Cohen how it feels to see his former boss in person again. Cohen called it a “heck of a reunion.” Trump was also asked about his feelings upon seeing Cohen.
“Well I hadn’t seen him in years. You know his record, his record is a horrible one. We’ll see how it ends. It’s not going to end good,” Trump said.
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