Former Federal Prosecutor Pours Cold Water On MSNBC Host’s Argument Michael Cohen Will Be Good Witness


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Former federal prosecutor Ankush Khardori countered MSNBC host Chris Jansing’s argument that former President Donald Trump’s previous attorney Michael Cohen will be a beneficial witness for the prosecution.

Cohen, who has previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and admitted to lying under oath to a federal judge, on Monday began his testimony against Trump as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s star witness. After Khardori said Cohen would be a vulnerable witness, Jansing offered her “dissent” but the former federal prosecutor asserted it was not accurate and that Trump’s attorneys will be prepared to attack him effectively. (RELATED: The Stage Is Set For Alvin Bragg’s Star Witness—An Admitted Liar—To Take The Stand Against Trump)


“You have said, Ankush, that a good lawyer on a good day could demolish Cohen,” host Ana Cabrera said. “He’s a lawyer himself, but you think he’s an easy target?”

“He’s a lawyer, but he’s a very bad one,” Khardori responded. “So I think he is an exceptionally easy target and I think I would bet everyone around the table sitting there with you would be chomping at the bit if they had the opportunity to cross Michael Cohen as a professional matter.”

Cabrera said Khardori’s bet was correct as there was “nodding” around the table. “Can I be the dissenting voice here, Ankush?” Jansing asked. “Here’s my dissent. He was very well-prepared for his testimony in front of Congress. There was a moment, according to Lanny Davis, when he was preparing him. He got very, very angry and essentially Davis said to him, there you go, you just gave the Republicans everything they wanted. And from that point forward he was, I don’t know if these are not Lanny’s words, the ideal witness, but from that point forward he understood the stakes.”

“The stakes in front of Congress are nothing compared to what’s at stake here,” Jansing added. “What’s at stake here is potentially if you believe the polls, Ankush, the presidency of the United States, and whether or not someone will vote for someone who is a convicted felon. The polls indicate that they would not. So is it just the fact that he is a convicted liar that you think is too hard to overcome or are you predicting that he is somehow going to lose it or be inconsistent, not tell the story that he has told over and over and over again? What is it that you think a good lawyer could do to Michael Cohen that could make the case fall apart?”

Cohen has often taken to social media to attack Trump, both preceding and during the trial, describing him in multiple Twitter posts as “VonShitzInpantz” and speaking live on TikTok about the case.

“I don’t think it’s insurmountable. I don’t want to be rendering a definitive verdict on the credibility of his testimony. It’s under way right now. I want to be very clear about that,” Khardori said. “But, yeah, it’s the concern about his temperament, it’s not just his prior demonstrable history of lying but concern about his temperament and combativeness. The distinction between testifying before Congress and testifying in a courtroom here, I respect Lanny Davis’ opinion, but they’re totally different. In Congress, the questioners are not professional attorneys, they don’t have hours and unlimited time to develop lines of cross-examination and themes over time.”

“Many many members of Congress are attorneys and they have many attorneys who help them prepare the questions,” Jansing retorted.

David Pecker, former National Enquirer publisher and the first witness during the trial, agreed that Cohen is prone to exaggeration during his testimony.

“I don’t want to be rude to the people in Congress, they are nowhere near as good as professional criminal litigators at cross-examining people,” Khardori said. “That’s just the reality and I’m guessing the people around the table will share that assessment as well. And he’s going to be facing something unlike he faced in Congress. These people have had months, months to pour over every statement he’s made on social media and in his podcasts and in his books. And you can bet a lot of that is going to show up on cross-examination. So again, I don’t want to disparage the folks in Congress but we have to be frank about this. This is a qualitative difference between the level and intensity of a cross-examination in a criminal trial with experienced cross-examiners and a lot of time and material at their hands, versus what happens in Congress.”

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