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Tense Exchanges, but Cohen Doesn’t Crack

It was a moment straight out of a courtroom drama: a defense lawyer, barking at a crucial witness, demanding the truth — or, at least, something to help his client.

For several minutes this afternoon, Todd Blanche, the lead attorney for Donald Trump, channeled “A Few Good Men,” boring into Michael Cohen, the former fixer turned witness for the prosecution.

At issue was a brief phone call on the night of Oct. 24, 2016, during which Cohen had previously testified that he had updated Trump about a hush-money deal with a porn star, Stormy Daniels, and “the resolution of it.” That resolution, a $130,000 payment, was made days later and undergirds the case against Trump, the first American president to stand trial.

But during a tense and theatrical showdown, Blanche tried to get Cohen to admit that he had lied about the call, suggesting he was instead talking to Trump’s bodyguard, Keith Schiller, about a prank phone call Cohen had received from a teenager.

“You were actually talking to Mr. Schiller about harassing phone calls from a 14-year-old,” Blanche said, heatedly, his voice pitched.

Cohen stood firm, saying that in light of phone records he’d examined, “I believe I spoke to Mr. Trump.”

Read more on nytimes.com