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Rep. Dan Goldman: Michael Cohen Is An Admitted Perjurer, Liar

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s high-profile case against former President Donald Trump may have its narrative undermined by testimony given on Monday by Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of Trump.

Cohen has been a key player in the legal case involving purported hush money payments to Daniels, the porn star who claimed to have met Trump in 2006. The prosecution has depicted the payments thus far as a desperate attempt by Trump to stop damaging information from undermining his 2016 presidential campaign.

Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman made headlines this week by noting that Cohen is an admitted liar and perjurer who was sent to prison.

MSNBC host Willie Geist asked Goldman: “Congressman, I’ll ask you to put on your former prosecutor’s hat for just a moment here. What about that connection? That’s the whole ball game right there, that Donald Trump knew that they were falsifying records. Has the prosecution made that case?”

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“Well, I think it does remain to be seen, and that is the key. On the one hand, that is the technical legal requirement that they will have to prove. A lot of times in these trials, though, you know, the jury will want to make sure they check all the boxes, but the detailed defense is a tough one to make. I would echo what Claire said — and I have deposed Michael Cohen, I have met with him a number of times to prepare him — this was different testimony than what his demeanor was during the A.G.’s case. This is different than he has been in the past,” Goldman began.

Cohen was given a three-year prison term by a judge for all of the charges, and in May 2019 he checked himself into the medium-security federal facility.

He did not, in the end, finish his term. Cohen was put on furlough in 2020 because of the coronavirus epidemic. But when he declined to sign papers prohibiting him from publishing a book during the balance of his sentence, the Federal Bureau of Prisons put him back behind bars.

Later, a judge deemed his second incarceration “retaliatory” and ordered his release.

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“But the question is not how he is on direct examination. The question is how he is on cross-examination. They were very smart to put him so late in the trial. Because what is happening now is, as he is on direct examination, he’s testifying, and the jury is seeing how what he is saying is consistent with what David Pecker said, with what Stormy Daniels said, with what other witnesses said,” Goldman continued during his interview.

“Because the D.A. knows that they are going to have to corroborate him, because he is an admitted perjurer, he is an admitted liar, he has testified inconsistently on the stand, so he is either lying one time or the other, and he will be really skewered on cross-examination for that. So in order to use him effectively, they’ll rely heavily on that recording where he’s very much corroborated about what he says about Karen McDougal, and they’re going to rely very much on the consistent statements that he made with all of the other witnesses. It remains to be seen today on cross-examination whether he can hold up and accept responsibility for lying on the stand before or lying to Congress,” Goldman added.

“And he will say, of course, ‘Yes, I lied, and I did that for Donald Trump, your client,’ and that’ll be effective. The technical defenses or the technical aspects of the case do remain to be seen, but I think the critical thing here that they are really showing over and over and over, both for this trial and just generally, is that Donald Trump just doesn’t care about election law. He doesn’t care about campaign finance law. He welcomed Russian interference in 2016,” he continued.

Goldman concluded: “He tried to hide the Stormy Daniels stuff because it came, especially on the heels of the ‘Access Hollywood’ and he thought he was done. Everything thought he was done. So they’re doing a very effective job of showing that this man simply doesn’t care about that law.”

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