After the first day of Michael Cohen’s testimony, President Donald Trump told reporters that he would be returning to court on Wednesday.
In 2019, allegations made by disgraced lawyer Cohen spurred the attorney general’s office to investigate President Trump.
At the center of the case are the Statements of Financial Condition (SFC) for the Trump Organization from 2011 to 2021.
On Tuesday, Cohen said that he personally altered together several of those statements with Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg under the direction of his former boss.
Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and one-time executive vice president of the Trump Organization, will continue to testify against his former boss.
He is testifying in the ongoing get-Trump civil trial in the case New York Attorney General Letitia James brought against the 45th president.
James is seeking $250 million in damages to be paid to the state of New York.
The NY AG is also hoping for the barring of President Trump and his adult sons from holding executive business positions in New York.
Don Jr. and Eric Trump are co-defendants in the case.
On September 26, New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron had already ruled in a pretrial summary judgment that President Trump is liable for fraud.
Trump’s defense attorney Alina Habba picked up a cross-examination of Cohen on Wednesday morning.
Cohen’s cross-examination continued with Trump’s legal team questioning him about the times he lied under oath.
Trump’s attorneys said the judge had asked Cohen 50 questions when he made his guilty plea.
The questions sought to ascertain that Cohen understood that he could only make this plea if he was truly guilty.
Cohen argued that he could not speak to the judge’s state of mind.
Justice Engoron then called an off-record sidebar with the attorneys.
“You lied more than once in federal court, correct?” Engoron asked Cohen.
“Correct,” Cohen said.
However, Cohen then started to walk back his previous claims.
Cohen said that he was not lying to the Permanent Select Committee when asked whether he was asked to inflate numbers.
“Not that I recall” Cohen previously told the Committee.
On Tuesday, however, Cohen said they never “overtly” said it that way.
He then continued to testify that he had lied to the Committee.
“You’re now saying that Mr. Trump did not direct you to inflate the numbers on the statements of financial condition,” defense attorneys asked.
Cohen did not answer until the judge compelled him to.
“I stand with that response. ‘Not that I recall,’” he said.
“So Mr. Trump never directed you to inflate the numbers on the financial statements?”
“Correct,” Cohen said, backtracking on what he said on Tuesday.
In response to Cohen’s admission, the defense requested that the case be brought to an end.
The radical judge then denied the defense’s request.
Prosecutors then questioned Cohen about his prior convictions where he pleaded guilty, and tried to enter his plea document into evidence as a consistent prior statement.
The defense objected, arguing that their documents were entered as a foundation to impeach the witness, whereas the prosecution was trying to “rehabilitate” a discredited witness.
The judge criticized both sides for “micromanaging” little details when they had a big case to go through.
Defense attorneys asked, again, for the case to be dismissed.
They argue, rightly so, that Cohen is an unreliable witness.
“Absolutely denied,” the judge said.
“This case has evidence, credible or not, all over the place.
“There’s a 200-page complaint … with evidence all over the place.”
The judge added that he did not consider Cohen a key witness.
“There’s enough evidence in this case to fill this courtroom,” he said.
He asked attorneys on both sides to stay and then dismissed everyone else, ending the trial for the day.