Trump attorney delivers closing arguments in NYC case, says jury should 'expect more' from prosecution

"Cohen lied to you."

Libby Emmons Brooklyn NY
Attorneys for Donald Trump gave closing arguments on Tuesday in the New York courtroom where the former president has been facing 34 counts of felony falsification of business records. Prosecutors in DA Alvin Bragg's office have not said what felony crime was allegedly committed that would elevate the misdemeanor counts to a felony, and Judge Juan Merchan told jurors that they did not have to agree on exactly what crime was committed in order to convict the GOP frontrunner.

Defense attorney Todd Blanche told jurors that "President Trump is innocent." He went on to say that Trump "did not commit any crimes and the district attorney has not met their burden of proof. Period." Blanche said "You should want and expect more than the testimony of Michael Cohen."

"This is about whether President Trump, while living in the White House in DC as leader of the free world was responsible for book ledgers in NY, which were accurate and also not intended to influence the election. Let's talk about the evidence," Blanche said, per Inner City Press, who has been covering the trial.

Cohen was the prosecution's star witness. He served as an attorney for Trump and is the one who claimed that he was reimbursed by Trump for payments Cohen made to a woman with whom Trump was rumored to have a dalliance. The woman, Stormy Daniels, detailed encounters with Trump on the stand as she made wisecracks and delivered one-liners to the jury.

Cohen had issued invoices to Trump for legal fees, which the Trump Org. recorded as legal fees. The company also recorded payment of those invoices and receipts as legal fees. This, Bragg says, was the crux of the falsification, as he has said these were not legal fees but hush money payments to a porn star. It is unclear how he believes that should have been recorded in the bookkeeping ledger.

"Cohen lied to you, Cohen lied to you," Blanche told the jury. While on the stand, Cohen admitted to having lied to Congress and to stealing some $30,000 from the Trump Organization for whom he was working. Blanche went on to detail the problems with the prosecution's claim that Trump explicitly paid Cohen in order for Cohen to pay Daniels. 

The prosecution's Joshua Steinglass will deliver closing arguments after Blanche. He will ask the jury to convict Trump.
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