Michael Cohen’s Latest Move Blasted By Legal Analysts

Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen’s latest move in the former president’s criminal hush money trial was scrutinized by legal analysts on Monday.

Cohen is set to testify in the high-profile trial, which will determine whether the former president falsified business records over payments, allegedly facilitated by Cohen, to former adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep an alleged affair secret before the 2016 election, as alleged in a criminal indictment.

Prosecutors led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg allege the payments were part of a scheme to stop potentially damaging stories about the Republican from becoming public. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 election, has denied wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to all 34 charges against him in the case.

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen, former lawyer of the former United States President Donald Trump, arrives for the 2nd day of testimony against Former President Donald Trump of civil fraud trial at New York State Court October 25,…

Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket/Getty Images

During the second week of trial on Monday, Cohen, who has emerged as a vocal Trump critic, took to X, formerly Twitter, to share his thoughts on Trump.

“Hey Von ShitzInPantz…your attacks of me stink of desperation. We are all hoping that you take the stand in your defense,” Cohen wrote on X.

Cohen’s comments come after Trump has often taken to Truth Social, his social media platform, to criticize Cohen, recently calling him a “disgraced attorney and felon.”

In March Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the case, imposed a gag order on Trump, barring him from making public statements about witnesses, including Cohen and Daniels, as well as lawyers and staff in the case and their families. The order excluded Merchan and Bragg, but it was later expanded to include Merchan’s and Bragg’s families after Trump made attacks toward the judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan.

However, since Cohen’s comments, some legal analysts have taken to X to scrutinize Cohen, warning that prosecutors don’t like to see a witness making these statements.

Joyce Vance, a former U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, took to X and said, “As a prosecutor, this isn’t something you want to see one of your witnesses doing.”

Newsweek has reached out to Trump’s spokesperson and Cohen via email for comment.

In addition, Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney and legal analyst reiterated Vance’s remarks adding that any prosecutor “would cringe,” warning that it would be subject to cross-examination.

“Any prosecutor would cringe at the idea of a witness making statements out of court before his testimony because he will be subject to cross examination on all of them. That being said, however, a prosecutor cannot prevent a witness from speaking if he wants to,” McQuade said in an email to Newsweek

Meanwhile, Dave Aronberg, the state attorney for Florida’s Palm Beach County and legal expert agreed with Vance telling Newsweek in a statement on Monday that prosecutors don’t wish to see Cohen’s comments, but that his latest post won’t matter “too much” in the case.

“This is not ideal. Prosecutors don’t want their witnesses talking about a case or belittling the defendant — especially before the witnesses’ crucial testimony and cross-examination. Cohen, however, has already said plenty of negative stuff about his former boss, so I don’t think this latest post will matter too much,” Aronberg said in a statement to Newsweek.

In addition, speculation over whether or not Trump will testify in the trial has ramped up as former assistant U.S. attorney David Katz said the Republican may take the stand in a “Hail Mary move” if he thinks the trial is going “poorly for him.”

Speaking to British broadcaster Times Radio, Katz said, “He’s trying to thread the needle where he doesn’t infuriate the jury and he somehow appeals to them and I think his charm seems to work in some of the swing states and with his base. He is going to try to charm the jury, he may even testify. If Michael Cohen goes in pretty well and the trial otherwise goes poorly for him he might just Hail Mary take the stand.”