Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of ex-President Donald Trump, endured a second day of intense testimony on Wednesday as he faced cross-examination in his business fraud trial held in the New York State Supreme Court. Trump’s attorney, Alina Habba, left no stone unturned in challenging Cohen’s credibility before the court.
Habba took a stern stance in her dealings with Cohen, who has been outspoken in his criticism of his former employer. On Tuesday, she firmly established the ground rules for the trial, reminding Cohen that he was not on his podcast, “Mea Culpa,” or on CNN. During her half-hour cross-examination, Habba repeatedly labeled the disgraced lawyer, who served three years in federal prison, as a liar and perjurer.
She questioned Cohen about his past instances of lying under oath, prompting responses such as, “So you have lied under oath numerous times, Mr. Cohen?” Habba’s relentless questioning also delved into Cohen’s personal life, including asking whether he had told his wife that he committed perjury. When Cohen raised an objection, Habba retorted, “No, you don’t get to object.”
Lead defense attorney Christopher Kise explained the relevance of questioning Cohen about lying to his wife, asserting that Cohen was a “serial liar,” and his admission in this regard was pertinent to his impeachment as a witness.
Habba continued to press Cohen on Wednesday, emphasizing his admission of perjury before a New York judge in previous guilty pleas. She defended her use of the term “perjury,” even after prosecutors objected, arguing that there was nothing wrong with calling a liar by that name.
In an effort to highlight Cohen’s changing stance on Trump, Habba read quotes from media outlets in which Cohen had praised the former president’s character and capabilities. Cohen also acknowledged having “significant animosity” toward Trump during the questioning.
Former President Trump responded to Cohen’s testimony on Truth Social, criticizing him as a “complete and total disaster” and describing his statements as “lie after lie.” Trump asserted the worth of his assets exceeded what was stated on his financial statements and decried the trial as a “miscarriage of justice.” He further emphasized that the statute being used had never been applied in this manner before.