Trump trial key witness Michael Cohen is expected to testify Monday

Former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York is expected to see its key witness, ex-attorney Michael Cohen, testify Monday. 

Now six years removed from being a key confidante to Trump, Cohen has emerged as the Republican presidential candidate’s de facto arch nemesis. In books, podcasts and on social media, he has become among Trump’s most ardent critics. The withering criticism has chafed Trump, who has violated a gag order in the case to lash out at Cohen — and repeatedly asked the judge to allow him to do so.

Prosecutors have reached the home stretch of their case, nearly a month after this trial began. They said in court Friday that they could rest their case by the end of next week. 

Cohen’s role is to tell the court that Trump understood that records related to reimbursement checks to Cohen would be falsified in order to cover up the fact that they were tied to the purchase of Stormy Daniels’ story. 

As proceedings came to a close Friday, Trump attorney Todd Blanche complained that Cohen has continued to talk about the case and Trump — even as recently as Wednesday on TikTok, Blanche said.

Witnesses are asked not to discuss the case, but they’re not subject to the gag order imposed on Trump. Judge Juan Merchan instructed prosecutors to tell Cohen to stop talking.

This week’s testimony seesawed between sex and bookkeeping. Thursday saw the conclusion of a furious back and forth between prosecutors and Trump’s lawyers, who dueled with adult film star Stormy Daniels on the stand for a second day

Friday was less explosive, with former White House executive assistant Madeleine Westerhout returning to the stand to be questioned by the defense. In her testimony, Westerhout portrayed her time working for Trump as positive and discussed his closeness to his family

Trump attorney Susan Necheles also established that Trump did not call all of the people on the list Westerhout received from Rhona Graff, Trump’s assistant at the Trump Organization. Graff testified earlier that the list contained the contact information for Daniels and Karen McDougal, the two women who have said they had affairs with Trump. Trump has denied both claims.

The jurors were also shown a document illustrating the records Trump is accused of falsifying in the case. It listed 11 invoices, 12 vouchers and 11 checks, a total of 34 documents corresponding to 34 counts — all allegedly connected to the reimbursement payments to Cohen.

Here’s how the trial unfolded Friday:

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