Trump’s Idiot Lawyers Blew a Major Chance to Question Michael Cohen

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The first day of cross-examination against arguably the most consequential witness in Donald Trump’s hush-money case resulted in … practically no results for the GOP presidential nominee’s legal defense.

Over the course of several hours on Tuesday, Trump’s attorneys badgered Cohen about his juvenile social media posts—including calling his old boss a “Cheeto-dusted cartoon villain”—and whether Cohen hoped that his sentence would be reduced in exchange for cooperation in the trial. But legal experts didn’t feel that the cross was very effective at positing a new or reformed narrative that would help their client or have any sway with the jury whatsoever.

MSNBC legal analyst Lisa Rubin wrote that the cross-examination had “not accomplished much” beyond showing that Cohen is still a wealthy individual who has made money off books he’s written about Trump, that his opinion of Trump had changed after he was sentenced in December 2018, and that he’s thrown a bevy of insults at Trump.

Unfortunately for Trump’s defense, none of that was news.

“We’re likely just over 15 minutes from the end of … today, and I’m still unsure what the defense gained from the start of the cross, if anything,” wrote Lawfare managing editor Tyler McBrien. “No checks, no business records, no alternate theories of the case presented.”

Ultimately, the effort was a startling contrast to a prosecution team that started the morning by arriving with a cartful of documents, ready to burst into action.

The trial will resume on Thursday, though even that opportunity to continue developing a defense out of Cohen’s testimony will be cut short by a preapproved appointment for a juror, ending the trial slightly early at 4 p.m.

Trump is accused of using Cohen to sweep an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels under the rug ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Republican presidential nominee faces 34 felony charges in this case for allegedly falsifying business records with the intent to further an underlying crime. Trump has pleaded not guilty on all counts.