ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen resumes testimony in business fraud lawsuit

Attorney parted ways with the former US president in 2018 after being prosecuted for tax evasion, has been taking the stand against him in civil trial

Michael Cohen arrives at New York Supreme Court for former President Donald Trump's civil business fraud trial, October 25, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)
Michael Cohen arrives at New York Supreme Court for former President Donald Trump's civil business fraud trial, October 25, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Cohen will be back on the witness stand Wednesday, testifying against his ex-boss Donald Trump in a civil trial over allegations that the former president chronically exaggerated the value of his real estate holdings on financial documents.

During his first day of testimony Tuesday, Cohen said he and key executives at Trump’s company worked to inflate the estimated values of his holdings so that documents given to banks and others would match a net worth that Trump had set “arbitrarily.”

Trump watched as his lawyer Alina Habba then cross-examined Cohen, working to portray him as a convicted liar.

Cohen worked as Trump’s lawyer and fixer for many years, but in 2018 he was prosecuted for tax evasion, making false statements to a bank and to Congress and making illegal contributions to Trump’s campaign in the form of payouts to women who said they had extramarital sexual encounters with the Republican. Trump said the women’s stories were false. Cohen has said he orchestrated payments to the women at Trump’s direction.

Since his legal problems started in 2018, Cohen has been a Trump foe. The two men hadn’t been in a room together in five years until Tuesday’s court session.

Cohen called it a “heck of a reunion.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks in New York City on October 24, 2023, at the civil fraud trial that threatens to upend his real estate empire. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

Outside the courtroom after Tuesday’s court session, Trump dismissed Cohen as a “disgraced felon.”

Cohen is also expected to be an important prosecution witness in a criminal trial scheduled for next spring in which Trump is accused of falsifying business records. That case is one of four criminal prosecutions Trump faces in New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, DC.

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