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Lawyers tell CNN Trump's defense 'knocked down' Michael Cohen and put him 'on the mat'

CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson and criminal defense attorney Bill Brennan, who previously represented former President Donald Trump, said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's star witness Michael Cohen suffered a beat on Thursday

Cohen, who previously represented Trump, witnessed under cross-examination again Thursday, with legal commentators raising the possibility that the witness committed perjury. Jackson and Brennan agreed on “CNN News Central” that Cohen's testimony was brutal for the witness and that Trump's defense attorney, Todd Blanch, made significant progress during cross-examination.


“Wow! … If it's not a blow, it certainly put it on the carpet, right? And it floored him,” Jackson told host Sarah Sidner. “The open question is whether the prosecution could stand up. Because? What usually happens, Sarah, is when you have adverse information that is information that is damaging to your case, first, your testimony on the spot, sir, is there a time when you called the president? Yes. Tell us about that phone call. What was the nature of the discussion? Comment two things. Talk about a 14 year old bullying you, right? And you discuss something else besides telling the president, it didn't take you long, did it? Then you get to the conversation.”

“There was no mention of any 14-year-old, no harassment at all,” Jackson added. “And now you have the defense on cross, giving the context of the call talking about the 96 seconds, a short period of time, talking about your concern for this 14-year-old stalker, talking about how you had thought about this, but now everything suddenly that's what you were talking about. Big disconnect, big problem, big point for the defense.”

Blanche confronted Cohen about his previous lies while under oath, including to Congress and a federal judge, wondering if he took an identical oath before testifying then as he did to testify at Trump's trial. Blanche accused Cohen of lying when he testified Tuesday that he called Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller on Oct. 24, 2016, to discuss the circumstances of paying porn star Stormy Daniels.

“That was a lie!” Blanche called Cohen. “You didn't talk to President Trump that night… You talked to Keith Schiller.”

Blanche noted that text messages Cohen sent minutes before the phone conversation asked how she should handle harassing calls from a 14-year-old, to which Schiller replied, “Call me.”

“I think Joey really nailed it,” Brennan said. If it's not a bump, it's an eight count, and, you know, there was a lot of criticism about the way that Mr. Blanche began her cross, but the cross is a rhythmic operation. You have to get your rhythm, your rhythm. I think he's doing a wonderful job and you don't work with your best stuff. He had this, he must have had it for a year and he bided his time and let it out at the precise moment it would do the most effective damage. It doesn't just make the prosecution look underprepared, because like Joey said, they should have gotten that first to avoid shock value.”

“There's just a sane nature to the other reason for the call. He's fighting a 14-year-old, but what's 14? Seventh grade, eighth grade,” Brennan continued. “I mean, has this guy never heard of call blocking? He's going to taint him on the jury. He wants to take a 14-year-old boy and report him to the Secret Service. Blanche has caught Mr. Cohen in lie after lie. Now, she's a kind of fishing in a pond that's full You're going to get some lies But it's been a tough couple of days for the defense And if the whole case goes up and falls on Cohen , I don't think 12 people will vote to convict.”

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