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NY vs Trump: Liar Michael Cohen can run but can't hide from the truth even though lying is in his DNA

OpinionNY vs Trump: Liar Michael Cohen can run but can't hide from the truth even though lying is in his DNA

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It was Oscar Wilde who observed that “hatred is blind.” Unlike love, it destroys the hater. It’s a corrosive poison that slowly consumes the human spirit and extinguishes all values.

Former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen is exhibit A of a man who became debilitated by anger and bitterness toward his one-time boss Donald Trump.  He blames the former president for his own self-destruction that culminated in a three-year prison sentence. 

But no one made Cohen lie to Congress, lie to courts, lie to banks, lie to the special counsel, lie to the Federal Election Commission, and lie to the IRS.  He did it all on his own because, as he confessed in court, he’s a liar and a bully.  

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Former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, departs his home for Manhattan Criminal Court for the trial of former President Donald Trump for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs in New York City, on May 14, 2024. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

THE PROSECUTION’S STAR WITNESS AGAINST TRUMP, MICHAEL COHEN, IS A CHRONIC AND HABITUAL LIAR

Disbarred and disgraced, Cohen’s name is now synonymous with “serial perjurer,” an invective coined recently by a federal judge who correctly assessed Cohen’s absence of character. He’s lying still, said the court. It’s a vice that satiates his hatred.

If jurors are paying attention to Cohen, they’ll see a misanthrope extraordinaire devoid of morals and conscience. He is untruthful and untrustworthy, which makes him the worst kind of witness imaginable. 

Given Cohen’s odious record, it is baffling why any responsible prosecutor would call him to the stand, much less hang his entire case on the credibility of an unhinged and incurable fabricator. It is a measure of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s desperation that he did. Without Cohen, the D.A.’s ambition to put Trump behind bars would dissolve.  

Bragg and his team of partisans knew their star witness would get clobbered on cross-examination. That’s why at the end of Tuesday morning’s court session they tried to preempt the inevitable assault by inviting Cohen to account for his avalanche of lies. It was a long list. His explanations were vacuous and his apologies seemed hollow.

TRUMP UNLEASHES ON ‘FASCISTS’ IN DEM PARTY AFTER ‘VERY GOOD DAY’ OF TRIAL

The defense finally got its chance in an abbreviated afternoon session. Cohen pleaded amnesia when questioned about how he’d been coached by the prosecution and told to put a sock in his mouth on social media. He was confronted with the animus he has spewed at Trump over the last six years on endless TV shows and hundreds of podcasts. He feigned the kind of acute memory loss that plagues a dementia patient.

It doesn’t matter because many of Cohen’s screeds were recorded digitally and are lying in wait. They offer a striking contrast. In court, jurors have seen a well-dressed Cohen. His comportment was calm and deliberate, even polite. His venom was well concealed under what must have been strict instructions from prosecutors.  It was a con, of course, by an inveterate charlatan.  

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The videos expose the real Michael Cohen in all his true ugliness. In lunatic rants, he rages that Trump “belongs in a cage like a f***ing animal.”  He refers to the former president as a “dictator douche bag” and a “Cheeto-dusted cartoon villain.”  Those are just some of the TikTok tirades that occurred during the trial as Cohen was trolling for dollars. There are more.   

Anyone who has ever had the misfortune to deal with Cohen describes him in the most detestable ways. Nasty, vile, and loathsome. A churlish bully bereft of morals. It’s consistent with his seething hatred — as seen on the videos. In one, he’s wearing a T-shirt with a photo of Trump superimposed behind prison bars. He was forced to admit in court Tuesday that he wants Trump convicted.  

That alone is a motive to lie, which is second nature to Cohen. It’s in his DNA. He’s pathological. It’s compounded by another motive —greed. His livelihood is dependent on trashing Trump. He has no other source of income. Without Trump to fulminate against, he’d be a pauper.       

Lawyers call cross-examination the engine of truth. It strips the veneer off a phony witness and exposes him to the scrutiny of hard facts and uncomfortable truths. There is no hiding Cohen’s thirst for vengeance. You’ll find it in plain sight in his book, “Disloyal,” and another one titled, “Revenge.”    

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If jurors are paying attention to Cohen, they’ll see a misanthrope extraordinaire devoid of morals and conscience. He is untruthful and untrustworthy, which makes him the worst kind of witness imaginable. 

And the perfect witness for the Manhattan District Attorney. As much as jurors may hate Cohen, Bragg is banking on the hope that they will hate Trump more.

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