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The Latest | Cohen returning to stand for cross-examination by Trump’s lawyers at hush money trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s fixer-turned-foe returns to the witness stand Tuesday for a bruising round of questioning from the former president’s lawyers.

Michael Cohen ‘s testimony on Monday linked Trump to all aspects of a hush money scheme that prosecutors say was aimed at stifling stories that threatened his 2016 campaign. He’s the prosecution’s star witness.

He placed Trump at the center of the hush money scheme, saying he had promised to reimburse money the lawyer had fronted for the payments and was constantly apprised of the behind-the-scenes efforts to bury stories feared to be harmful to the campaign.

Text messages, audio recordings, notes and more have all been introduced or shown to jurors in recent weeks to illustrate what prosecutors say was a scheme to illegally influence the election that year. And sometimes dramatic testimony from witnesses that included former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, ex-Trump staffers and porn actor Stormy Daniels added to the intrigue.

The trial is in its 17th day.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts.

The case is the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president and the first of four prosecutions of Trump to reach a jury.

Currently:

— Michael Cohen: A challenging star witness in Trump’s hush money trial

— What to know about Cohen’s pivotal testimony

— Trump’s GOP allies show up in force as Cohen takes the stand

— Trump hush money trial: A timeline of key events in the case

— Key players: Who’s who at Trump’s hush money criminal trial

Here’s the latest:

WITH TRUMP UNDER A GAG ORDER, HIS GOP ALLIES SPEAK UP

With Donald Trump barred from publicly attacking the key witness in his hush money trial, his campaign brought to court a band of Republican elected officials to speak for him.

Trump, who is balancing the demands of a felony trial with his third run for the White House, has been prohibited by a judge’s gag order from criticizing witnesses and already fined for violating the restrictions.

Bringing allies to court allowed Trump’s campaign to press his message without violating the gag order. It also gave those allies a high-profile platform to demonstrate loyalty to their party’s presumptive nominee and perhaps audition for higher office.

COHEN PROVIDES JURORS WITH AN INSIDER’S ACCOUNT

Once Donald Trump’s loyal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen provided jurors with an insider’s account of payments to silence women’s claims of sexual encounters with Trump, saying the payments were directed by Trump to fend off damage to his 2016 White House bid.

While prosecutors’ most important witness, he’s also their most vulnerable to attack — having served time in federal prison and built his persona in recent years around being a thorn in Trump’s side.

Cohen is expected to be on the witness stand for several days, and face intense grilling by Trump’s attorneys, who have painted him as a liar who’s trying to take down the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

While prosecutors’ most important witness, he’s also their most vulnerable to attack — having served time in federal prison and built his persona in recent years around being a thorn in Trump’s side.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the case.

The Associated Press



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