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Michael Cohen, Trump's aide, continues to be questioned in a New York court.

Michael Cohen, Trump's aide, continues to be questioned in a New York court.

Michael Cohen has been described as the prosecution's star witness in the ongoing trial against Donald Trump in New York. The former US president is accused of requesting payment of money to people who threatened to leak sensitive information about him during the 2016 presidential campaign, which was described as “hush money.”

Payments must be recorded Such as legal expenses, which may constitute, among other things, a tax crime, a violation of New York's campaign finance laws, and an attempt to influence an election.

Donald Trump's defense lawyer, Todd Blanche, on Tuesday began his questioning of Cohen, who served for many years as the former US president's special “coordinator” – an interrogation that continued on Thursday.

Trump himself was present in court in Manhattan, where he harshly criticized Judge Juan Merchan before entering the heavily guarded courtroom. CNN writes.

– The judge, as you know, is very contradictory – and he should not be a judge. The former US president told reporters gathered at the site that he should have nothing to do with this case at all.

Donald Trump also complained that the area around the building “looks like Fort Knox” and that they “don't let people come here,” he wrote. Watchman.

During the introduction After questioning, Trump's defense attorney, Todd Blanche, once again attacked Michael Cohen, who is accused of being a “notorious liar.”

Also during Tuesday's hearing, Blanche toed the same line, focusing on trying to show that Cohen's lies are so great that he can no longer distinguish between what is true and what is false, and that he is motivated by an intense hatred for his own party. Ex-President.

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During cross-examination Thursday, Todd Blanche noted that Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to several charges, many of which related to Donald Trump and the “hush money” payment that is the focus of the ongoing trial.

– Was the reason you lied to the federal judge then because you were personally affected by what was at stake? Blanche said, referring to Michael Cohen's 2018 plea before Judge William H. Pauley III on tax evasion charges. CNN writes.

– Yes, Cohen answered the question.

Trump's defense also played audio clips from Cohen's podcast “Mea Culpa,” where he says he is “full of joy” and that he feels “dizzy with anticipation and laughter” when he imagines Trump and his family in prison.

During the first phase of questioning, the main figure in the trial, Donald Trump, was present in the courtroom, where he sat leaning back in his chair, sometimes with his eyes closed and his hands folded.

Photo: AFP/TT

During a short break At the trial, Trump left the courtroom to give a thumbs up to people gathered outside the courtroom.

The former US president denies any wrongdoing and described the trial as “political persecution.” He faces four years in prison in the case, but could also receive a suspended sentence.