Attorney Tells CNN Docs Lacking Trump’s Signature Pose Serious Problem For Alvin Bragg’s Case


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Key documents lacking former President Donald Trump’s signature may pose issues for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case, criminal defense attorney Arthur Aidala told CNN on Monday.

Trump is confronting 34 felony counts for allegedly falsifying business documents relating to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence regarding an alleged affair ahead of the 2016 election. Aidala noted that Trump’s signature is present on a check while other key documents were never personally signed by the former president, suggesting the possibility a jury could find “reasonable doubt” over Trump’s involvement when compared to former attorney Michael Cohen, a key witness in Bragg’s case. (RELATED: ‘Morning Joe’ Panelists Dismayed By Trump’s ‘Terrifyingly Competent’ Campaign)


“You just have to attack, attack, attack those witnesses and look, what you’ve got to say is Michael Cohen should be a co-defendant,” Aidala told host Anderson Cooper. “If you believe what the prosecutors just said, Michael Cohen should be a co-defendant, not a witness. He has so many reasons to lie, so many reasons to pin this on someone else, to keep himself out of jail, which he was unable to do in the federal case.”

Cohen, who  is a crucial witness for prosecutors, pleaded guilty to giving false statements, as well as charges like tax evasion and campaign finance violations in 2018. Cohen first said he paid Daniels with his personal funds and that neither the Trump campaign nor the Trump Organization paid him back, but he subsequently testified to Congress that the former president directed him to make the payment, which he received reimbursement for, according to Reuters. (RELATED: MSNBC Legal Analyst Predicts Chance Of ‘Mistrial’ In Trump’s Bragg Case)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 22: Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Manhattan Criminal Court, flanked by lawyer Todd Blanche (R), for his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments at Manhattan Criminal Court on April 22, 2024 in New York City. Trump was charged with 34 counts of falsifying business records last year, which prosecutors say was an effort to hide a potential sex scandal, both before and after the 2016 presidential election. Donald Trump’s unprecedented criminal trial is set for opening statements after final jury selection ended Friday. (Photo by Victor J. Blue – Pool/Getty Images)

“I think [Cohen’s credibility] has a tremendous impact,” he added. “Look, there is paperwork that corroborates the people‘s evidence, and that‘s obviously hurtful for the president. But my understanding is it’s not paperwork with Donald Trump‘s handwriting on it or his signature on it, except for a check. So the defense could merely be, hey, Michael Cohen did all of this. He never told his client. He just said, look, I need money for this, I need money for that. And you know, one of the witnesses who is going to testify at this trial testified for the feds and he said that the money that was given to Michael Cohen was for Stormy Daniels and for legal fees. That’s a reasonable doubt.”

Trump was also indicted in June 2023 over his alleged mishandling of classified documents retained at his residence in Mar-a-Lago. In early August 2023, the former president was hit with another indictment over his alleged attempt to interfere in the 2020 election and alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.  (RELATED: MSNBC Legal Analyst Predicts Trump’s Lawyers Will ‘Pummel’ Stormy Daniels On Stand, Accuse Her Of ‘Blackmail’)

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