Donald Trump sits next to his attorneys Todd Blanche and Emil Bove during the former president’s criminal hush-money trial in Manhattan.

Donald Trump’s lead attorney Todd Blanche began his cross-examination of Michael Cohen Tuesday.Blanche came out of the gate swinging, questioning Cohen about social media posts bashing Trump. “You referred to President Trump as a ‘dictator douchebag,’ didn’t you?” Blanche demanded of Cohen.

Donald Trump’s lead attorney Todd Blanche came out of the gate swinging on Tuesday as he began his cross-examination of the former president’s ex-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

Blanche grilled Cohen — the prosecution’s star witness in Trump’s New York criminal hush-money trial — about the many times that Cohen insulted both Trump and himself on social media.

“You referred to President Trump as a ‘dictator douchebag,’ didn’t you?” Blanche said as he questioned Cohen about an April 23 TikTok Cohen made just days after the historic trial began.

Cohen deadpanned from the witness stand, “Sounds like something I would say.”

Journalists and members of the public watching the trial on video screens in the downtown Manhattan court’s overflow room erupted in laughter.

Blanche also went after Cohen about him ranting in the recent TikTok video that Trump “belongs in a fucking cage.”

“You said, ‘he goes back into that little cage, which is where he belongs, in a fucking cage, like an animal.’ Did you say that?” Blanche demanded of Cohen, who responded, “I recall saying that.”

While questioning Cohen, Blanche then asked him about his referring to Trump as “a boorish cartoon misogynist.”

“That sounds like something I said,” Cohen responded.

Blanche later asked, “Do you recall calling President Trump a ‘Cheeto-dusted cartoon villain?'”

Cohen again answered, “That sounds like something I said.”

Michael Cohen, the ex-lawyer for former President Donald Trump, departs his home in Manhattan to testify in Trump’s criminal hush-money trial.

Cohen’s roasts of his former boss were revisited

Just moments into his fiery cross-examination of Cohen, Blanche said, “In fact, on April 23rd, you went on TikTok and called me a crying little shit, didn’t you?”

“Sounds like something I would say,” Cohen said to an earlier wave of laughter in the court’s overflow room — a second courtroom in the building where members of the public and press are able to watch the trial on screens.

New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan swiftly sustained an objection from the prosecution, striking the question from the record.

Later in the cross-examination, Blanche brought up more occasions where Cohen roasted Trump. He asked about a T-shirt depicting an illustration of Trump in an orange jumpsuit and behind bars, which Cohen wore on his April 23 TikTok video.

“It’s part of the merch store,” Cohen said, touting items sold by the MeidasTouch Network, the left-leaning media company where he hosts one of his anti-Trump podcasts.

Todd Blanche just entered an image of this shirt, sold by the Medias Touch network, into evidence.

It was shown to the jury. pic.twitter.com/Jvlebw8A1O

— Jacob Shamsian ⚖️ (@JayShams) May 14, 2024

The website also sells a mug depicting Trump’s signature coiffure with the phrase “Send him to the big house, not the White House,” as Blanche pointed out to the jury.

Cohen’s cross-examination comes after he spent the last day and a half on the witness stand, being questioned by prosecutor Susan Hoffinger.

Cohen testified that Trump was the one who directed him to make a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels in the days before the 2016 election.

Much of his most damning testimony came when he quoted what he described as Trump’s own words.

“Just take care of it,” Cohen said Trump told him in ordering him to quash Daniels’ story about the sex she says she had with Trump.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office has charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Prosecutors allege Trump illegally disguised records reimbursing Cohen for a $130,000 hush-money payment made to Daniels ahead of 2016 election.

The payment, prosecutors say, was to buy Daniels’ silence over a one-time sexual encounter the porn star says she had with Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel suite in 2006 during a celebrity golf tournament.

Trump has denied having sex with Daniels.

Prosecutors hope Cohen’s testimony will bolster their argument that Trump orchestrated the payment to Daniels as part of an illegal conspiracy to influence the election.

“He wasn’t thinking about Melania,” Cohen testified of Trump. “This was all about the campaign.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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