Trump team asks Judge Merchan to dismiss case after Michael Cohen admits he stole from Trump Org, lied to Congress

"You said his lies are irrefutable," Merchan replied. "But you think he’s going to fool 12 New Yorkers into believing this lie?"

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

Trump’s legal team on Monday evening requested that Judge Juan Merchan dismiss the falsified business records case against Trump. The ask follows the testimony of the prosecution's star witness, convicted felon and congressional perjurer Michael Cohen, who was once an attorney for the Trump Org. During his testimony, Cohen admitted to stealing $30,000 from the Trump Organization and to lying to Congress.

"There’s absolutely no evidence that the filings were false. The business records were not false. There’s no disputing that Mr. Cohen provided legal services for President Trump in 2017," Trump attorney Todd Blanche said, according to the Associated Press. Blanche argued that Trump, then president, was far removed from the Trump Organization at the time Cohen was alleged to have been reimbursed, and Trump was signing the checks in the White House because for legitimate legal services.

According to USA Today, Blanche presented three reasons why the case should be dismissed. First, that the business records at the center of the case aren’t actually false, and that Cohen did provide legitimate legal services to Trump in 2017. Second, Blanche said there’s no evidence that Trump intended to defraud in regards to the business records and if there was, the described services would have been recorded differently than those rendered. Third, Blanche said that there are no crimes being covered up by the records, which is why Bragg elevated the charges to felonies from what is usually a misdemeanor count.

Blanche urged the judge to "not let this case go to the jury relying on Mr. Cohen’s testimony," arguing that Cohen has lied under oath both in the past, including to Congress, and again during the trial.

Merchan asked Blanche whether he thought that "as a matter of law, this person’s so not worthy of belief that it shouldn’t even be considered by the jury?" Blanche said he did. 

"You said his lies are irrefutable," Merchan replied. "But you think he’s going to fool 12 New Yorkers into believing this lie?" Judge Merchan said he would not immediately rule on the motion to dismiss, and the court will reconvene at 9:30 am on Tuesday.

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