Trump plans to be back in court for Michael Cohen’s testimony in N.Y. trial
Former President Donald Trump is planning on returning to the civil fraud trial against him and his company next week to watch the testimony of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, two sources confirmed to NBC News.
While in New York, Trump is also expected to be deposed in a case involving former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page who, like Cohen, the former president has repeatedly trashed in public.
Cohen is expected to take the stand in the $250 million civil fraud case against Trump and his company as early as Tuesday. His testimony is expected to take roughly two days.
“It’s been five years since we have seen one another. Assuming I am even on to testify next week, I look forward to the reunion. I hope Donald does as well,” Cohen told NBC News, adding that Trump is “scared” and “petrified.”
It is expected that Trump will stay for testimony Tuesday and Wednesday, the two sources said, adding that the former president’s schedule is subject to change. Trump’s travel plans were first reported by The Messenger.
In 2019, Cohen told lawmakers about Trump’s business practices and said, “Mr. Trump inflated his total assets when it served his purposes” and “deflated his assets to reduce his real estate taxes” — conduct that James said prompted the investigation.
Previous congressional testimony by Cohen landed him in prison. Cohen was sentenced in 2018 to three years in prison for what a federal judge in Manhattan called a “veritable smorgasbord” of criminal conduct, including lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia and facilitating secret payments to women who claimed they had had affairs with Trump.
Trump faces criminal charges from the Manhattan district attorney’s office related to the hush-money payments, and Cohen is expected to be a witness in that trial as well.
Trump has pleaded not guilty in the hush-money case and denied wrongdoing in the civil case. He has called Cohen a “rat” and made other disparaging remarks in recent years. Trump is expected to testify in the civil case in the coming weeks.
Tuesday is also when Trump is scheduled to be deposed in connection with a pair of lawsuits filed by his longtime targets: Strzok and Page.
He is expected to answer questions for two hours and, according to an attorney with knowledge, the deposition will take place in Manhattan after the fraud trial adjourns for the day.
Stzrok alleges in his suit against the Justice Department that he was wrongfully terminated, while Page, who resigned as an FBI lawyer in May 2018, has argued privacy violations in relation to the public disclosures of her text messages with Stzrok.
Both were involved in then-special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. They were removed from the probe after officials discovered text messages that criticized Trump, including a message that referred to him as “a loathsome human.”
Trump has repeatedly trashed the two former officials in the years since and claimed credit for Strzok being fired, although the Justice Department has denied that Trump was responsible or involved in the decision to dismiss Strzok.