‘That was a lie’: Trump attorney blasts Cohen over testimony on key phone call


Donald Trump’s defense attorney accused Michael Cohen on Thursday of lying on the witness stand during the former president’s hush money trial, saying phone records discredited Cohen’s prior testimony.

Trump attorney Todd Blanche presented evidence of call logs and text messages while cross-examining Cohen and compared them to details Cohen gave prosecutors two days ago about a key conversation he allegedly had with Trump about porn star Stormy Daniels, according to courtroom updates from Politico.

The evidence revealed that on the evening of Oct. 24, 2016, the same time as the alleged conversation about Daniels, Cohen messaged Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller about harassing calls Cohen had been receiving from a 14-year-old.

The phone logs showed Schiller called Cohen back a few minutes later and left a voicemail and that Cohen then returned Schiller’s call and had a conversation that lasted about a minute and a half.

Blanche pressed Cohen on how the call could have possibly been about Daniels.

“That was a lie,” Blanche shrieked in reference to Cohen’s prior testimony. “You can admit it.”

Defense attorney Todd Blanche stands making the swearing-in’hand gesture when cross-examining Michael Cohen, as Donald Trump, left, looks on with Judge Juan Merchan presiding, Thursday, May 16, 2024, in New York. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Prosecutors had asked Cohen on Monday about the call, and Cohen replied that he called Schiller because he knew Trump was with his bodyguard.

Cohen testified that he called “to discuss the Stormy Daniels matter and the resolution of it.”

The call occurred three days before Cohen wired a $130,000 payment to Daniels as part of a settlement agreement. The agreement involved Daniels staying silent right before the 2016 election about a claim that she once had a sexual encounter with Trump.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, an elected Democrat, faces the challenge of convincing a jury that Trump conspired with Cohen to make the payment and knowingly concealed it in his financial records.

The call on Oct. 24 is one of only a few instances Bragg can point to that could prove Trump was informed about Daniels and the payment. But that evidence is entirely reliant on Cohen’s recollection, and Cohen’s credibility has been a glaring concern during the trial.

Cohen began to walk back his testimony from Monday, telling Blanche “part of” the call was about the 14-year-old.

“You had enough time in one minute and 36 seconds to update Mr. Schiller about all the harassing phone calls and the update on Stormy Daniels?” Blanche asked incredulously.

When Blanche told Cohen he could admit he was lying, Cohen replied that his belief was that the conversation was about Daniels.

“No, sir, I can’t [admit it],” Cohen said. “I believe that I also spoke to Mr. Trump and told him everything regarding Stormy Daniels was being worked on and it’s going to be resolved.”

“We are not asking for your belief,” Blanche shot back. “This jury doesn’t want to hear what you think happened.”


Blanche also clarified with Cohen that at no time in past depositions or statements did Cohen ever say the Oct. 24 call was about Daniels. Cohen only made the claim after he rehearsed his testimony with Bragg’s team in the lead-up to his appearance on the stand, Blanche observed.

“Yes, that refreshed my memory,” Cohen said.

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