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Donald Trump and Michael Cohen Engage in Courtroom Clash: Key Testimony in Civil Fraud Case Threatens Trump’s Business Empire
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Donald Trump and his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, squared off in a New York courtroom on Tuesday. Cohen is poised to testify as a crucial witness in a civil fraud case that poses a significant threat to Trump’s business empire. Here’s an in-depth look at the ongoing legal battle.

Cohen’s Transformation into Trump’s Fiercest Critic

Michael Cohen’s Transformation


Michael Cohen has transformed dramatically since parting ways with Trump five years ago. Once a staunch ally of the former president, Cohen has now emerged as one of Trump’s most vocal and relentless critics. As he entered the courthouse, Cohen emphasized that his involvement in the case was driven by a desire for accountability and justice, stressing that the judge would make the final determinations.

Trump’s Counterattack: Labeling Cohen a Liar

Trump’s Counterattack

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Minutes after Cohen’s arrival, Donald Trump, the current frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, fired back, branding Cohen as a “liar.” Trump pointed to Cohen’s guilty plea in 2018, which included tax evasion charges and providing false statements to Congress during an investigation into Trump’s connections with Russia. He further asserted, “He’s a proven liar, as you know, a felon. We did nothing wrong, and that’s the truth.”

Cohen’s Legal Odyssey: From Prison to Key Witness

Cohen’s Legal Odyssey

After serving a three-year prison sentence, Michael Cohen was released to home confinement in 2020. He disclosed that Trump’s accusations of lying were akin to “the pot calling the kettle black,” asserting that he had fabricated information before Congress at Trump’s behest and for Trump’s benefit.

The Core of the Case: Trump’s Alleged Property Valuation Inflation

The Core of the Case

At the heart of this high-stakes trial lies a lawsuit initiated by Democratic New York Attorney General Letitia James. The lawsuit alleges that Trump artificially inflated the values of his properties by billions of dollars when dealing with banks to secure more favorable loan terms.

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Witness Testimonies Begin: Insights from Mazars Counsel

Witness Testimonies Begin

The court proceedings commenced with the testimony of Bill Kelly, the general counsel of the accounting firm Mazars. Mazars terminated its association with the Trump Organization in February 2022, expressing concerns about the reliability of its financial statements.

Cohen Takes the Stand: Key Testimony that Sparked the Legal Battle

Cohen Takes the Stand

Following Kelly’s testimony, Michael Cohen, who served as Trump’s lawyer and confidant for several years, was scheduled to take the stand. Cohen’s testimony during a 2019 Congressional investigation into Trump’s financial dealings catalyzed Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit.

Trump’s Defense: Denials and Accusations of Political Witch Hunt

Trump’s Defense

Throughout the proceedings, Donald Trump has vehemently denied any wrongdoing and defended the valuation of his properties. He has characterized the case as a “fraud” and a politically motivated witch hunt. Trump’s appearances in court have been interspersed with inflammatory remarks to reporters, with him expressing frustration about the distraction from his ongoing political campaign.

Previous Rulings and Ongoing Appeals

Previous Rulings and Ongoing Appeals

Before the trial officially commenced in September, Justice Arthur Engoron found that Trump had artificially inflated his net worth. He subsequently ordered the dissolution of companies controlling Trump’s flagship properties, including Trump Tower in Manhattan. However, this ruling has been put on hold pending Trump’s appeal.

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Potential Damages and Legal Consequences

Possible Damages and Legal Consequences

The trial’s primary focus revolves around the issue of damages. Attorney General Letitia James seeks a minimum of $250 million in fines and a permanent ban on Trump and his sons, Donald Jr and Eric, from conducting business in New York. Additionally, a five-year ban on commercial real estate activities involving Trump and the Trump Organization is being sought.

Judge’s Stern Warnings and Financial Penalties

Judge’s Stern Warnings and Financial Penalties

To maintain the integrity of the trial, Justice Arthur Engoron has placed restrictions on the public statements of the involved parties. Trump faced a $5,000 fine for violating a gag order, and Engoron has cautioned that future breaches will result in more severe penalties, possibly including imprisonment.

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