United States – Michael Cohen once said he would be ready to do anything, even shoot a bullet for the former US President. Presently, he is going to serve as main witness in the criminal trial of the ex-president concerning the charges of cover-up of the hush money paid to an adult actress.

Cohen’s role in the first-ever criminal trial of a US president, which started in Manhattan, New York, on Monday, signified the end of his fifteen-year-long story from being Donald Trump’s lawyer and “fixer” to political opponent and adversary, as reported by Reuters.

“I’m the guy who would take a bullet for the president,” Cohen told Vanity Fair in 2017.

Charges and Allegations

The case is Cohen’s USD 130,000 payment to the adult actress Stormy Daniels, to whom he gave the money in order that she could keep quiet about a sexual affair she had with Trump that happened ten years ago. Cohen, the attorney who once worked in Trump’s private firm, states that the president himself made the decision on the payment.

Trump, according to the criminal charges, will stand trial on November 5th for 34 counts of falsification of business records as part of the hush-money scheme. He has also offered other explanations for his dealings with Daniels, aka Stephanie Clifford, and Cohen has been called a serial liar by him.

Curiously, Cohen started his turn against his former employer as the federal investigation into Daniels’ payment and other issues became more intense.

In 2019, it was Cohen who warned everyone, saying, “I am ashamed because I know what Mr. Trump is. He is a racist. He is a con man. He is a cheat.”

Cohen’s Testimony and Allegations

After Trump was indicted in 2023 for the first time, Cohen, who was one of Trump’s legal attorneys, said that his goal in cooperating with the authorities was to “blow the whistle on the President.”

“If speaking truth to power makes me Donald’s archnemesis, so be it,” Cohen said in his 2023 interview with Reuters.

Legal History and Previous Testimony

This will not be the first time Cohen has testified against Trump in the courtroom. In October, at a civil fraud trial concerning the former president’s real estate valuations, Cohen responded on the stand, noting that he “would put any number Mr. Trump gave me on paper.”

In February, the judge instructed Trump to pay $454m in penalties and interests, including deceiving lenders and insurers by relying on his overestimated property values.

In 2007, Cohen joined the Trump Organization, where he was appointed as the executive vice president and special counsel. Besides him, the Long Island native and a son of Holocaust survivors has been a malpractice attorney and the owner of a yellow-cab fleet.

He was hired onto the board of directors of the condominium where he owned an apartment when they were trying to expel President Trump’s name from outside the building.

Cohen, however, continued to be a member of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Trump’s personal lawyer, even though he was not an official White House employee.

In November 2018, just after issuance of the hush money payment to Daniels, Cohen first said that he had personally funded this payment. Moreover, he stated that neither the Trump campaign nor the Trump Organization reimbursed him.

He was later sentenced to three years in prison for violating federal campaign finance law by giving Daniels money from his campaign funds. He then testified in Congress that Trump ordered him to make the payment. He said that he got it in installments and even offered a copy of a check with $35,000 written on it, which came from the president’s personal bank account.

Cohn was given a three-year prison term for the payment, and for a couple of other wrongdoings. They included tax evasion and lying under oath to Congress, when he said the Trump Organization stopped working on a project in Russia which had never really taken place. Cohen spent not less than a year in prison to be set free.

‘PART OF THE PLAYBOOK’

Involving Cohen’s testimony takes up the risk for Alvin Bragg, DA for Manhattan, that the disbarred lawyer had previously provided false documents.

The examination of Cohen at the civil case may give Trump’s defense lawyers material for challenging Cohen during the cross-examination at the criminal trial. In the course of the civil suit, he said that he took the oath to the federal judge who accepted his 2018 guilty plea on tax fraud, a crime he now says he did not commit.

Cohen, who is already a married man and has two kids, has already taken some steps to rehabilitate himself. He was also quoted as having said that his many other criminal conduct, such as the lie to Congress and the Daniels payment, were born from his blind devotion to Trump, as reported by Reuters.

He predicted that Trump and his allies would attack him, he told Reuters in the 2023 interview.

“It’s all part of the playbook,” Cohen said.