Turley Says Prosecutors Are Relying On Cohen’s ‘Failure’ As Lawyer In Order To Convict Trump

[Screenshot/Fox News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley said prosecutors involved in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s trial are relying on ex-Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s “failure” to win the case.

Cohen, the attorney who paid the hush money at the center of the trial, admitted during his cross-examination Monday how he stole $30,000 from the Trump Organization in 2017 as a form of his reimbursement deal. The now-disbarred attorney said he lied to Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg by saying he needed $50,000 to be reimbursed for his payment to tech company RedFinch, though he only gave the company $20,000.

“You stole from the Trump Organization, correct?” Trump’s defense attorney Todd Blanche asked, according to ABC News.

“Yes, sir,” Cohen replied.

Turley said the prosecution is using a witness who admitted to committing grand larceny to “pursue a dead misdemeanor” regarding the alleged falsification of business records to reimburse Cohen for the $130,000 payment to former porn actress Stormy Daniels. Bragg charged Trump with 34 counts of allegedly falsifying business records to reimburse Cohen for Daniels’ payment through monthly installments of $35,000, labeled as payment for “legal services.”

“How this case is going forward I just cannot explain. You had a disbarred, convicted serial perjurer on the stand matter-of-factly detailing how he stole tens of thousands of dollars from his client. And what is really funny is then the prosecutor gets up and says ‘I just want you to tell the jury, once again, you’re not charged with anything, right?’ I wanted to stand up and say ‘yeah, but you should have!’ He just admitted that he committed grand larceny, he told you that, and you instead decided he was more valuable to pursue a dead misdemeanor on a book keeping violation.”

Turley said the prosecution are attempting to “distract the jury” from their “glaring problems” with witnesses, as Cohen failed to treat the payment as a retainer, a legal compensation agreement covering a lawyer’s services. (RELATED: ‘Stunning’: New Trump Trial Revelation Shocks Jake Tapper)

“Cohen should have had a retainer but he was a really bad lawyer,” Turley said. “And so, like many things, he didn’t do that. But now the prosecutors are using his failure as a basis to convict his client and then he’s adding to that and saying ‘I think you should send my client to jail for following my legal advice.'”

The professor accused New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan issued “one-sided rulings” in favor of the prosecution, as he “hammered the defense, sustaining a lot of objections.” He further argued the judge allowed for the prosecution and Cohen to speak of alleged campaign violations, though no violation occurred.

“I have to say, I was really struck today by what I consider to be fairly one-sided rulings. He hammered the defense, sustaining a lot of objections, some of which I still don’t understand the basis of his order, and he was far more solicitous towards the prosecution,” he said. “But the biggest problem that we saw today is one of the reversible issues. Once again, he allowed the prosecutors and Cohen to talk about how there are campaign violations in the case. And there are no campaign violations. And so, after this happened again, he gave this instruction saying ‘disregard that on the merits.’ Well, they’re not gonna disregard that on the merits. They’re hearing it over and again.”

“So he says you can’t have an expert on that issue, but Michael Cohen here is to lay out the federal election law because that’s practically what’s gonna happen,” he continued.

Cohen testified the week prior that Trump approved of the reimbursement plan, saying Weisselberg assented to it with Trump present, and added that Cohen would receive a $420,000 over a 12-month period. The defense accused Cohen of lying, presenting text messages that showed a call he placed to Trump’s bodyguard Keith Schiller had a different purpose than the Daniels matter.