Audio tape of Trump is devastating for his case and supports Michael Cohen: former prosecutor
Now that former President Donald Trump is being charged in New York in connection to a $130,000 hush payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, much of the case will rest on testimony from Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen — and Trump's defense will likely try to discredit him, arguing he's unreliable because he served time for lying to Congress.
But one cold, hard piece of evidence could still back Cohen up, argued former federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann on MSNBC Friday: a tape recording of Trump talking to Cohen about the payments, during which Trump suggested they "pay with cash."
"I mean, I watched enough mob movies to know that innocent people don't say, quote, 'pay with cash,'" said anchor Nicolle Wallace. "What are we entering into if this goes to trial, as Trump said he plans for it to?"
"This is one where, obviously, Michael Cohen is a difficult witness," said Weissmann. "He is not your ideal government witness for a host of reasons, including the fact he's still talking, and that differentiates him from anybody I've ever dealt with as a cooperating witness. That being said, these are really experienced state prosecutors. They've been in this territory, this is their bread and butter doing these kinds of cases. This particular case, not that complicated."
"So this case is going to be — I think it was mentioned, it's really going to be made on documents, and that tape recording is one where there are a number of ways that it could be used," said Weissmann. "Not just for the fact that you have Trump on tape saying pay in cash if it was legit, you would be like, I'll wire the money or send a check. It makes no sense. The fact that Michael Cohen was taping it shows that Michael Cohen is not going to tape record it as somebody who is going to say, what are you talking about? I don't know anything about this, what are you doing? That's not what you hear. What you hear is, wait a second, pay in cash. The very fact of the tape recording is something that the D.A.'s office knows to use very well to corroborate Michael Cohen."
"And then just one small caveat, which is that Donald Trump has not had his day in court in a criminal case, so it's true that there has been no refutation by Donald Trump," Weissmann added. "We have a lot of adjectives, we have a lot of adverbs, we have a lot of epithets about the D.A. and the case, but that's not an argument. That is not a fact. That is not any legal argument that's been made. But he will have a place where he can do that ... and I do think one of the things the media gets wrong is to just cover adjectives and adverbs as if it's anything. It's literally nothing more than the paper it's printed on."
Andrew Weissmann says Michael Cohen tape is damning for Trumpyoutu.be
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