The prosecution's star witness against Trump, Michael Cohen, is a chronic and habitual liar

Michael Cohen is what is known as a Pinocchio witness

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In one of the greatest legal thrillers in film history, "Witness for the Prosecution" (1957), the intrepid defense attorney confronts in court the prosecution’s star witness with her many lies.  

Played by the legendary actor Charles Laughton, the renown barrister utters two famous sentences that have been recited by real defense attorneys ever since: "The question is…were you lying then or are you lying now? Are you not a chronic and habitual liar!" 

It is indisputable that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s star witness, Michael Cohen, is an incurable and prodigious liar. It may take a full day in the courtroom just to read aloud his endless falsehoods and fabrications.  

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So, don’t be surprised if the insufferable Cohen is bedeviled with Laughton’s exact same words when he is cross-examined this week by lawyers for former President Donald Trump.

Weaponization of the law or "lawfare," by any means, is now justified. It’s the popular currency among Biden Democrats. Abiding by the rule of law is a mere inconvenience, a pesky nuisance. It can be discarded like yesterday’s trash. 

Cohen is a disgraced, disbarred, and convicted perjurer who resided in a federal prison for the incalculable number of lies he peddled for years. He lied to banks, and he lied to Congress. Undeterred, Cohen is still lying. He is the subject of even more pending perjury referrals to the Department of Justice. 

For example, six months ago Cohen admitted that he lied under oath when he copped his original guilty plea. That prompted an incensed federal judge to denounced him recently as a "serial perjurer." Like Laughton, the judge said he wondered whether Cohen was lying then or lying now. 

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Cohen is what is known as a Pinocchio witness. His nose is already so elongated that he may have trouble navigating himself through the courtroom door when he takes the stand on Monday. If he took a lie detector test, the machine would explode in flames.

With Cohen, it’s not a question of linguistic differences. Whenever he speaks, his statements are either demonstrable deceptions or obvious lies.  He wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped him upside his swollen head.  

Like Stormy Daniels before him, Cohen thinks he will be hailed as the indomitable Trump-slayer who saves America. In truth, he’s a loathsome and pathetic figure. Delusional, pompous, immoral, vengeful, and dishonest. And that’s just the top five in a long list of miserable human afflictions.

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No ethical prosecutor would ever dare to call such a ticking time bomb as his leading witness. But Bragg and his team of partisan Democrats are desperate to nail Trump. They are bereft of the kind of moral code that normally restrains government prosecutors.  

In the Age of Trump, decency is eclipsed by the political imperative of disabling Joe Biden’s opponent in the upcoming presidential election.  Dictates of conscience are secondary to achieving the goal of wrongfully convicting an electoral enemy.  

Weaponization of the law or "lawfare," by any means, is now justified. It’s the popular currency among Biden Democrats. Abiding by the rule of law is a mere inconvenience, a pesky nuisance. It can be discarded like yesterday’s trash. 

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen, ex-lawyer for former President Donald Trump, is expected to testify on Monday. (Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

That is exactly what Bragg has done. His case against the accused is beyond anemic. It is an audacious corruption of the legal process.  

To fulfill his campaign promise to put Trump behind bars, the D.A. orchestrated a phony case by manipulating an inapplicable and expired misdemeanor statute. Then, in a head-spinning pirouette, he usurped federal authority to enforce campaign laws that were never violated.  

Voilà! A criminal case. In name only.

On direct examination, prosecutors will try to foreclose the Laughton line of questioning by preempting the attack. They’ll elicit voluntarily from Cohen his past lying transgressions but try to temper them in the most innocuous way.  Cohen will assure the jury that he is a reformed sinner and is now sincerely telling the truth.  

No sentient person should ever believe him.  

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Like Daniels, Cohen has made a career out of spewing his hatred for Trump. Indeed, he profits from it financially.  His livelihood depends on it. Hence, he has every motive to embellish, invent, and lie. It is his only talent.   

On cross-examination, it is inevitable that Cohen will get bludgeoned. It’s too easy. There are simply too many bald-faced lies that can never be explained away or excused. This won’t be a beat-down, it’ll be a savage mauling. 

Cohen’s most recent social media antics will be rich fodder for the defense. During the trial, he has taken to TikTok while trolling for dollars by trashing Trump. He wore a T-shirt depicting his former boss behind bars in an orange jumpsuit. In another appearance, Cohen sported a Superman top because, in his twisted and delusional mind, he sees himself as the superhero of this legal farce. Here I come to save the day!   

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Basically, Cohen persists in acting like an idiot, which proves the wisdom of the great American philosopher, Forrest Gump, who observed, "Stupid is as stupid does."

As we enter the fourth week of testimony, none of the witnesses called thus far have connected Trump to any criminal wrongdoing. Apparently, Cohen is the prosecution’s only witness who can attempt to do that.  He’ll lie, of course. It’s a given. And that’s what Bragg is counting on.  

By putting a proven liar with no credibility on the stand, the D.A. is knowingly suborning perjury, which is a criminal act.  He knows in advance that Cohen will never tell the truth.  But who will prosecute Bragg and his confederates?  

The question answers itself.

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Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News legal analyst and commentator, and formerly worked as a defense attorney and adjunct law professor. His recent book, "The Trial of the Century," about the famous "Scopes Monkey Trial" is available in bookstores nationwide or can be ordered online at the Simon & Schuster website.  Jarrett’s latest book, "The Constitution of the United States and Other Patriotic Documents," was published by Broadside Books, a division of HarperCollins on November 14, 2023.  Gregg is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book "The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump." His follow-up book was also a New York Times bestseller, "Witch Hunt: The Story of the Greatest Mass Delusion in American Political History." 

via May 10th 2024