Former Trump lawyer’s testimony in New York civil fraud trial deemed ‘credible’ by New York judge despite perjury charges

A New York judge ruled it Michael CohenTestimony in the civil fraud trial against the former president Donald Trump it is “credible,” despite accusations of perjury.

What happened: Judge Arthur Engoron issued the verdict in the New York civil fraud trial, saying Cohen’s testimony was “credible,” The Hill reported Friday. The trial ended with a ruling against Trump, ordering him to pay more than $355 million for conspiring to manipulate the value of his company to obtain tax and insurance benefits.

Engoron acknowledged challenges to Cohen’s testimony, including his guilty plea to perjury and apparent contradictions in his statements. However, the judge found Cohen’s testimony credible, citing his relaxed manner of testifying, the general plausibility of his statements, and the confirmation of his testimony by other trial evidence.

“Michael Cohen was an important witness on behalf of the plaintiff, though hardly the centerpiece that the defendants attempted to portray him as,” Engoron wrote in his 92-page trial verdict.

“His testimony was significantly compromised by the fact that he pleaded guilty to perjury and by some apparent contradictions in what he said at trial,” he added.

“However, carefully analyzed, he testified that although Donald Trump did not specifically order him to decode the financial statements, he did order him to do so indirectly, in his ‘mob voice.’

See also: Trump’s former lawyer says ex-president would be ‘found guilty on all charges’ in Hush Money case

“Although the animosity between the witness and the defendant is palpable, providing Cohen with an incentive to lie, the Court found his testimony credible, based on the relaxed manner in which he testified, the overall plausibility of his statements and, above all, the way in which his testimony was corroborated by other trial evidence.”

Trump, who has often criticized the judge and the New York attorney general Letizia Giacomo during the trial, he was ordered to pay the sentence. This ruling will also bar Trump and others from engaging in business in New York for three years.

Because matter: Once a close aide, Cohen worked as Trump’s go-between and lawyer, helping him increase the former president’s asset value. In October, Cohen testified against Trump and admitted helping him provide incorrect information in financial statements.

Cohen, in an interview with MSNBC on Friday, described the verdict as “fair and equitable.” He also expressed his surprise that the sentence was not higher, adding that he defers to Judge Engoron.

This comes amid a series of legal challenges the former president is facing. The cases, which include both federal and state charges, are spread across multiple locations, including New York City, Washington, Atlanta, Florida and Georgia. The former president has denied any wrongdoing and called the cases a “witch hunt.” Despite facing numerous legal cases, the former president is a leading Republican in most voter polls for the 2024 presidential election. Nationally, Trump has 74.9% support among voters, according to Real Clear Politics. Republican voters, while Haley lagged behind with 17.2%.

Read next: Trump nemesis Chris Christie says he would vote for Biden in 2024 if ‘necessary to save the country’

This content was partially produced with help from Benzinga Neuro and has been reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

Michael Cohen Photo of a katz on Shutterstock

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