Trump hush money judge urges prosecutors to rein in Michael Cohen By Reuters

By Luc Cohen and Jody Godoy

NEW YORK (Reuters) -The choose overseeing Donald Trump’s felony trial on Friday urged prosecutors to inform the previous U.S. president’s estranged former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to cease making public statements in regards to the case earlier than his anticipated testimony subsequent week.

Todd Blanche, Trump’s protection lawyer within the case stemming from hush cash paid to a porn star, stated Cohen, the star prosecution witness, had spoken on social media on Wednesday whereas carrying a T-shirt exhibiting Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, behind bars.

Justice Juan Merchan advised prosecutors inform Cohen that the request to chorus from public statements “comes from the bench.” He spoke on the shut of the fifteenth day of the primary felony trial of a sitting or former U.S. president.

Prosecutors with Manhattan District Lawyer Alvin Bragg’s workplace stated they’d move alongside the message. Cohen’s lawyer didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the choose’s feedback or the timing of his anticipated testimony.

Cohen’s extremely anticipated testimony in opposition to his former boss – a person he as soon as stated he would take a bullet for – is essential to the prosecution case. 

Trump is accused of fudging his household actual property firm’s data to cowl up Cohen’s $130,000 cost to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence earlier than the 2016 election a couple of sexual encounter she alleges she and Trump had in 2006. 

Trump, 77, has pleaded not responsible to 34 counts of falsifying enterprise data and denies having intercourse with Daniels, 45. 

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Earlier than the trial adjourned forward of the weekend, Assistant District Lawyer Joshua Steinglass stated prosecutors would name two witnesses on Monday and predicted they may relaxation their case by the top of subsequent week.

Cohen stated on a podcast on Thursday that he anticipated to testify subsequent week.

Trump has known as the case a politically motivated effort to intervene together with his marketing campaign to win again the White Home  within the Nov. 5 U.S. election in opposition to his Democratic opponent, President Joe Biden.

Merchan has fined Trump $10,000 for working afoul of a gag order proscribing his public statements about witnesses, jurors and others concerned within the case, and warned the previous president he might jail him for future violations.

Trump has argued the gag order impedes his constitutional proper to free speech, and has complained that he can not reply to public criticism from witnesses like Cohen and Daniels.

“He needs to place me in jail. And that might occur someday and I might be very proud to go to jail for our Structure,” Trump informed reporters after the trial ended for the day.

Prosecutors say the funds to Daniels and one other lady who says she had an affair with Trump, Playboy mannequin Karen McDougal, had been a part of a broader scheme to deprave the 2016 election by shopping for the silence of individuals with probably damaging data in violation of marketing campaign finance legal guidelines. 

Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton within the race for president that yr. Trump denies having had an affair with McDougal, who will not be anticipated to testify.

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