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Top Rated Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Explains Cohen Testimonial Blunder in Trump Trial

by | May 17, 2024 | State Crimes

Top Rated Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Michael Explains Cohen Testimonial Blunder in Trump Trial. The much anticipated trial testimony of Michael Cohen is about to wrap up. After apparently performing well on direct examination, Cohen has been subjected to extensive and vigorous cross-examination. That cross-examination exposed a major flaw in Cohen’s direct examination testimony.

In short, Cohen testified about a crucial alleged telephone call that he engaged in with Trump regarding the payments to Stormy Daniels. However, on cross-examination, defense counsel confronted Cohen with text messages that strongly indicate that the contents of that alleged call had nothing to do with payments to Daniels or the handling/accounting for such payments. Cohen was forced to admit that he had not reviewed those text messages in preparation for his testimony. If Cohen had reviewed them, it is likely that his testimony regarding this crucial call would have bee different – or he would not have testified about that call at all.

This incident may become pivotal to the jury’s assessment of Cohen’s credibility, as some jurors may conclude that Cohen was not truthful in his direct examination testimony with regard to that call – which in turn, may undermine the entirety of his credibility.

All of this points out how important it is to thoroughly prepare a witness to testify at trial. This includes preparing the witness for all potential documents that he may be shown during both his direct and cross-examination testimony. The failure to do so may cause the witness to be surprised at trial; to get events wrong; to get the chronology of events wrong; and to get the context of events wrong. Such preparation may take anywhere from hours, to days, to weeks. That type of preparation also requires counsel to confront the witness, during preparation, in the event his/her story conflicts with, or is inconsistent with, the relevant documentary record.

Clearly, here, with regard to Cohen, the prosecution team failed to fully prepare him to testify. The crucial texts that he was shown as exhibits during cross-examination should have been reviewed with him prior to trial, and importantly Cohen should have been challenged in preparation to the extent his narrative was in conflict with those documents.

Michael Leonard

Leonard Trial Lawyers

May 17, 2024