Attorney Says Trump Has ‘No Plausible Response’ to Cohen’s Evidence

On Monday, the judge presiding over the hush money trial of Donald Trump cleared the courtroom of media and then threatened to dismiss a defense witness from the case entirely due to his disruptive conduct during cross-examination, which included muttering obscenities and making snide remarks, as revealed in the court transcript.

Robert Costello was reprimanded by Judge Juan M. Merchan for his disgraceful behavior throughout his testimony. One way in which Costello irritated Merchan was by signaling to the witnesses to remain silent after objections had been upheld, which he did several times. In response to the criticism, Costello muttered “jeez” at one point. He deemed the whole endeavor “ridiculous” as well.

Monday will be the third day of cross-examination by Trump’s legal team against the witness Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, who is now a fierce rival.

Two women, Stormy Daniels (an adult film actress) and Karen McDougal (a former Playboy model), are said to have had relationships with Trump, and the prosecution is attempting to establish that Cohen paid or contemplated paying them, on behalf of Trump, not to divulge this fact before the 2016 presidential election.

An attorney and legal professor at Syracuse University in New York, Greg Germain, said the Trump camp has failed to provide any reasonable explanation for Cohen’s payment to Daniels.

For his part, Cohen claims that Trump told him to pay Daniels $130,000 in hush money so that she would not testify that she and Trump had relations in Nevada in 2006. The goal, according to the prosecution, was to keep Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign scandal-free.

Since the purpose of Cohen’s payment to Daniels was to influence the 2016 presidential election by silencing Daniels, prosecutors claim that the payment constituted an unlawful campaign donation.

Cohen was incarcerated for many crimes, including unlawful political donations and tax fraud. Since the trial started, he has been an unyielding opponent of Trump, and the two have insulted one other’s personalities on social media postings.