Alvin Bragg ‘Counting On’ Michael Cohen Lying During Trump Trial—Attorney

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is “counting on” Michael Cohen lying during former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial, according to attorney and Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett on Saturday.

Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, is set to testify in the high-profile trial on Monday, which will determine whether the former president falsified business records over payments, allegedly facilitated by Cohen, to former adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep an alleged affair that happened in 2006 secret before the 2016 presidential election, as alleged in a criminal indictment.

Prosecutors led by Bragg allege the $130,000 payment was part of a scheme to stop potentially damaging stories about Trump from becoming public. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 election, has denied any wrongdoing and that the affair ever happened. The former president has pleaded not guilty to all 34 charges against him in the case.

In a Fox News opinion column published Saturday titled, “The prosecution’s star witness against Trump, Michael Cohen, is a chronic and habitual liar” Jarrett, a former defense attorney and author who is also known for his pro-Trump stances, discussed Cohen’s expected testimony as he claimed the district attorney is “counting on” Cohen to lie.

“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,” he wrote.

Jarrett also wrote the reasons prosecutors would not call on Cohen as a witness by pointing out Cohen’s previous jail sentence for tax and banking fraud, political campaign violations, and other offenses.

“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…No ethical prosecutor would ever dare to call such a ticking time bomb as his leading witness,” he added.

Newsweek has reached out to Bragg’s office and Cohen via email for comment.

Alvin Bragg and Michael Cohen
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference on March 21 in New York City. Former Donald Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen is seen on February 15 in New York City. Bragg…

Getty Images/MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO and John Lamparski

Cohen, a close ally turned critic of Trump, served prison time after pleading guilty to eight criminal counts, including campaign finance violations related to the alleged hush money scheme. In addition, Cohen plead guilty in federal court in November 2018 to lying to Congress in relation to false statements he made to lawmakers about Trump’s reported business dealings with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Meanwhile, Trump and Cohen have continued to criticize each other publicly since the trial began last month.

Trump has often taken to Truth Social, his social media platform, to criticize Cohen, recently calling him a “disgraced attorney and felon.”

Cohen has also taken to social media to criticize Trump and wrote on X, formerly Twitter, during the trial, “Hey Von S***zInPantz…your attacks of me stink of desperation. We are all hoping that you take the stand in your defense.”

In March, Judge Juan Merchan, who is presiding over the case, imposed a gag order on Trump, barring him from making public statements about witnesses, including Cohen and Daniels, as well as lawyers and staff in the case and their families. The order excluded Merchan and Bragg, but it was later expanded to include Merchan’s and Bragg’s families after the former president made attacks toward the judge’s daughter, Loren Merchan.

The former president has already been fined $9,000 for breaking the gag order nine separate times last week and was fined another $1,000 on Monday as the judge warned Trump that future gag order violations could send him to jail.

However, while Trump is barred from criticizing Cohen because of the gag order, Cohen is allowed to scrutinize his former boss, which has been a point of contention.

Last Thursday during a hearing that considered four more potential gag order violations by Trump, Newsweek‘s Katherine Fung who was also inside the courtroom, posted on X that Trump’s attorney Todd Blanche argued Cohen did not need protection from the gag order due to Cohen’s comments.

“After showing various posts that Cohen made on X, comments Cohen made on TikTok and interviews Cohen has given about Trump, Blanche argues, ‘This is not a man that needs protection from the gag order,'” Fung wrote on X.

Meanwhile, John J. Perlstein, a Los Angeles-based litigator, previously told Newsweek that the Trump team’s attacks during Daniels’ testimony earlier in the week did not work and they might also fail against Cohen.

“I don’t know whether or not Cohen being liked will really matter when it comes to this witness. I think the issue will come down to whether or not he is believed,” he said. “The defense attorneys attempting to portray him as despicable could certainly backfire if he is credible with respect to the pertinent facts. I tend to think he will be credible when it comes to the information relative to the charges against Trump, who is also disliked in my humble opinion.”