NY v. Trump: Cohen testifies to paying Stormy Daniels from his own pocket

Michael Cohen, who served as former President Trump’s personal attorney, testified in Manhattan court that he used his own funds to pay a former pornographic actress $130,000 to quiet her claims of an alleged affair with Trump. Cohen took the stand in the NY v. Trump case Monday, where he told the court that as the 2016 election came down to the wire, he took out a line of credit on his home in order to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 in order to execute a non-disclosure agreement and obtain rights to her claims of the affair. Daniels alleges she had an affair with Trump in 2006 during a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, though Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations. In October 2016, according to Cohen’s testimony, he told Trump that Daniels must be paid in order to quiet her claims ahead of Election Day the following month. He testified that he spoke with Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg about how to fund the payment, with Weisselberg saying he was not in a position to initially foot the bill. “I ultimately said, ‘OK, I’ll pay it,’” Cohen testified, noting the urgency behind the matter as the election was just days away. Cohen described to the court that Daniels’ claims would have been “catastrophic to Mr. Trump and the campaign” if he did not take control of the situation and iron out the NDA and payment to Daniels. MICHAEL COHEN TESTIFIES HE SECRETLY RECORDED TRUMP IN LEAD-UP TO 2016 ELECTIONWeisselberg, according to Cohen, said, “Don’t worry, we’ll make sure you get paid back.” Cohen said he did not discuss the matter with his wife, and decided to gather funds through a home equity line of credit instead of drawing the money from his personal account. TRUMP, DEFENDERS SHOW UP IN FORCE AHEAD OF COHEN TESTIMONY”My wife was CEO of the household, [she] would not understand $130,000 missing from our joint account,” he said. Cohen and Weisselberg informed Trump that Cohen would be using personal funds to front the payment, to which Trump responded, “good, good,” according to the testimony. Cohen said he was “doing everything that I could and more in order to protect my boss, which is something I had done for a long time. But I would not hand out a 130k NDA for somebody else.”MICHAEL COHEN’S CREDIBILITY ISSUES, BRAZEN TIKTOK USAGE RAISE MEDIA EYEBROWS AHEAD OF TESTIMONY Cohen said he also would not have proceeded with a payment to Daniels without Trump’s approval first, arguing “everything required Mr. Trump’s signoff… on top of that, I wanted the money back.” The former Trump attorney continued in his testimony Monday that when opening a bank account with First Republic Bank in order to transfer the funds to Daniels, he fraudulently described the account as one that would deal with “management consulting.” He argued to the court that he was not truthful regarding the intent of the account, as he did not believe the bank would allow him to proceed if they knew it was to pay a former pornography star. MICHAEL COHEN EXPECTED TO TAKE THE STAND AS NY V. TRUMP TRIAL RESUMESCohen wired the funds to Daniels’ attorney Keith Davidson, telling the court that he marked the payment as a “retainer,” even though it was “to execute the NDA” and to obtain exclusive rights to Daniels’ claims. The funds were wired on Oct. 27, 2016. NY v. Trump revolves around the alleged falsification of business records. Prosecutors say Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to quiet her claims of the alleged extramarital sexual encounter. The District Attorney’s Office alleges the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses, and they are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case. MASSIVE TRUMP BEACH RALLY IN DEEP-BLUE NJ DRAWS STARK CONTRAST TO BIDEN’S BEACH WEEKEND: ‘BIDEN COULD NEVER’Trump has slammed the case as a “scam” promoted by the Biden administration ahead of the 2024 election, and touted Monday to the media that he’s leading President Biden in battleground states. “The New York Times just came out with a poll that shows us leading everywhere by a lot. This is the cover story. And I think you’ll find it very interesting, but I’m sure you’ve all read it. Leading in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and Nevada. Nevada, we are leading actually by 12 points, which is generally a Democrat state,” Trump said Monday morning. Monday’s day in court follows Trump holding a massive rally in the historically deep-blue state of New Jersey on Saturday, where the 45h president said “over 100,000 people” joined him on the beach in Wildwood. “I think we’re probably leading in New Jersey. We had a rally – over a 100,000 people this weekend. A lot of the mainstream media didn’t want to say how many people, they didn’t want to cover. But in fact… I hear the big crowd was not shown by the mainstream media,” Trump said Monday. 
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