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‘I hope he rots’: Trial hears audio of Michael Cohen celebrating Trump’s indictment

Donald Trump’s lawyers questioned Michael Cohen’s reliability during cross-examination on Thursday, playing podcast audio of the former lawyer hoping Mr Trump faces prison time and highlighting how Cohen previously lied under oath.

Todd Blanche, Mr Trump’s lawyer, attempted to undermine Cohen’s role as the prosecution’s main witness to jurors, painting the former lawyer and one-time fixer as a revenge-seeking liar.

For the first time, jurors heard Cohen’s booming voice in the courtroom and an adjoining overflow courtroom, where his nearly-shouted statements bounced around the room in stark contrast to his calm and composed statements on the witness stand.

The defense played audio from an October 2023 episode of Cohen’s podcast Mea Culpa, in which he excitedly said he, “Truly f***ing hope” that Mr Trump “ends up in prison” and, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”

“You better believe I want this man to go down and rot for what he did to me and my family,” Cohen said on his podcast.

In a May 2023 episode of Mea Culpa, Cohen can be heard, giddily, thanking Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his office for bringing the 16-count indictment against Mr Trump.

Last year, Cohen told The Associated Press he was not seeking “revenge” by testifying in the trial but rather seeking to tell the truth.

Cohen pled guilty to charges of tax evasion, making false statements and campaign finance violations in 2018 and served three years in jail. Despite pleading guilty, he told the jury on Thursday he did not believe he should have been charged for those crimes.

«You felt that you did not engage in tax fraud but you had to plead guilty to protect your wife and family?» Mr Blanche asked.

Cohen responded, “Correct.”

Mr Blanche also

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