Michael Cohen set for key testimony in hush money case

Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial will resume at Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday morning, with the defendant set to come face to face with his estranged former “fixer” Michael Cohen in Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom in what promises to be another explosive week of testimony.

Cohen is the attorney who made the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels at the heart of the case in the hope of buying her silence about a sexual encounter she claims she had with Mr Trump in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in July 2006, which the Republican’s camp feared could sway the 2016 presidential election in Democrat Hillary Clinton’s favour if it got out.

The former president denies the affair and the 34 felony counts brought against him by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, who accuses him of falsifying business records to hide the payout.

Ms Daniels herself took to the witness stand last week to deliver some highly explicit and embarrassing evidence against Mr Trump and more than held her own in response to hostile cross-examination from the defence, which worked hard to discredit her.

The presidential candidate continued to lambast the proceedings over the weekend as he rallied his supporters in New Jersey.

Alex Woodward is covering the trial for The Independent from Manhattan Criminal Court.

Key Points

Jersey Shore swamped with 80,000 MAGA supporters as Trump returns to rally stage

10:20 , Joe Sommerlad

The Jersey Shore was swamped with Trump supporters as the Republican presidential candidate hit the stage in Wildwood on Saturday for a sunset rally on the beach.

The former president arrived an hour-and-a-half late at about 6.30pm local time for the event, which was attended by 80,000 MAGA-lytes, according to his campaign officials (a number that should probably be taken with a pinch of salt).

Thousands of fans gathered on the sand and along the boardwalk throughout the day wearing Trump masks and American flag-themed outfits.

When their man started speaking, he was quick to brag that not even local hero Bruce Springsteen could draw such a crowd, a risky move indeed in New Jersey, where one simply does not cross The Boss.

Here’s Mike Bedigan’s report.

Jersey Shore swamped with 80,000 Maga supporters as Trump hits stage in Wildwood

Truth Social: Trump brags about rally crowd, celebrates Mother’s Day and posts cruel Whoopi Goldberg meme

09:50 , Joe Sommerlad

How is Donald Trump preparing for this momentous day in court?

Well, in addition to some fairly standard output puffing his weekend rally in Wildwood, New Jersey (much more on which in a moment) and promoting Fox News pundits rubbishing his trial, Trump has been calling on MAGA to help him drive out “the sick political class that hates our country” in ominous terms, celebrating Mother’s Day in characteristically odd fashion and posting a very unkind meme of Whoopi Goldberg.

He loves nothing more than a dated celelbrity feud, after all.

He also “retruthed” a fan-made video, two hours and 23 minutes in length, collecting together various clips of Joe Biden misspeaking to push the smear that he has dementia, which, frankly, you can look up for yourself if you must.

Honestly though, you could watch a truly great film at that runtime instead: Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru (1952) and High and Low (1963) are both precisely that length, to offer just two suggestions.

New York hush money trial: Michael Cohen expected to begin testimony on Monday

09:20 , Joe Sommerlad

Donald Trump’s New York hush money trial will resume at Manhattan Criminal Court on Monday morning, with the defendant set to come face to face with his estranged former “fixer” Michael Cohen in Judge Juan Merchan’s courtroom in what promises to be another explosive week of testimony.

Cohen is the attorney who made the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels at the heart of the case in the hope of buying her silence about a sexual encounter she claims she had with Trump in a Lake Tahoe hotel room in July 2006, which the Republican’s camp feared could sway the 2016 presidential election in Democrat Hillary Clinton’s favour if it got out.

The former president denies the affair and the 34 felony counts brought against him by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, who accuses him of falsifying business records to hide the payout.

Daniels herself took to the witness stand last week to deliver some highly explicit and embarrassing evidence against Trump and more than held her own in response to hostile cross-examination from the defence, which worked hard to discredit her.

Here’s Ariana Baio on the prospect of Cohen speaking out against a man he once said he would take a bullet for.

Michael Cohen expected to begin testimony Monday in Trump’s hush money trial

Hello!

09:06 , Joe Sommerlad

Good morning and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York and the wider Trumpworld Extended Universe.

The former president’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen is expected to hit the witness stand today for what promises to be another lively week of testimony with potential massive ramifications for the Republican presidential contender’s 2024 prospects.



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