From Loyalty to Testimony: Michael Cohen’s Journey with Trump

Facing his former employer, Michael Cohen provided a firsthand account of his tenure working behind the curtains for Donald Trump, a man he once vowed unwavering loyalty to, in a Manhattan courtroom. Reflecting on the highs and lows of his decade-long association with Trump, Cohen conveyed his single-minded dedication to fulfilling Trump’s wishes.

“My sole focus was on accomplishing the task, on ensuring his satisfaction,” Cohen testified on Monday.

Trump, who faces charges of falsifying business records in connection with a hush-money payment orchestrated by Cohen to an adult-film actress, has maintained his innocence. Leading up to Cohen’s testimony, both men engaged in heated exchanges on social media.

However, in the courtroom, there was a palpable absence of acknowledgment between the former allies as Cohen calmly recounted their tumultuous history.

During his extensive five-hour testimony, Michael Cohen provided insights into the role of being Donald Trump’s fixer, which encompassed tasks such as suppressing damaging stories involving women and resorting to falsehoods when deemed necessary.

Monday marked one of the rare occasions in recent times when the two men, aged 57 and 77 respectively, found themselves in the same room. Cohen, hailing from Long Island and the son of a Holocaust survivor, recounted his reluctant journey into the legal profession, admitting that he was initially pressured by his grandmother to pursue it.

Despite his initial reluctance, Cohen found himself working at a personal injury firm after completing law school, where he engaged in both legal and non-legal work for Trump. In 2007, Cohen assumed the role of Trump’s special counsel, securing a base salary of $375,000 (£298,000).

After Donald Trump’s staff was tasked with clearing out Michael Cohen’s former office, Trump offered him Ivanka’s office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, just a short distance from his own. Cohen reminisced about his proximity to Trump, whom he affectionately referred to as “the Boss”, noting that he eventually relocated to an office even closer to Trump’s quarters.

Describing his time at the Trump Organization as “an amazing experience in many, many ways,” Cohen portrayed the organization as akin to a “big family”. Cohen highlighted that his role involved reporting directly to Trump, handling any matters of concern to him, emphasizing Trump’s penchant for micromanagement.

“Mr. Trump’s sign-off was required for everything,” Cohen emphasized.

Simultaneously, Trump was cautious about leaving paper trails, Cohen revealed. Trump, the founder of the Trump Organization, notably never had an email address, explaining to Cohen that “emails are like written papers”.

Cohen recalled Trump cautioning him, “There are too many people who have gone down as a direct result of having emails that prosecutors can use in a case.”

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