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Jonathan Turley: Michael Cohen Must Convince Jury To Convict Trump For Following Legal Advice

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley on Thursday said Michael Cohen, who is former President Donald Trump’s previous attorney, must convince the jury in his trial to send him to jail for following his counsel.

A grand jury indicted Trump in April 2023, alleging the former president attempted to cover up another crime, possibly a violation of federal election law, when he reimbursed Cohen for a $130,000 payment made to keep porn star Stormy Daniels quiet regarding a purported affair, recording it as payment for “legal services.” Cohen is a key witness for prosecutors and Turley said his task is to persuade the jury to convict Trump based on adhering to the advice he gave.

“The district attorney who once refused to move forward on this case yielded to pressure,” Turley said. “The courts have allowed this to go forward even though many of us have said it is absurd … The New York legal system is relying on average people, frankly, to have a redemptive moment to say, ‘my god, we have to say enough. Where is the crime here?’ And that will come down to [Trump’s] intent.”

“And keep in mind, you’re going to have his former lawyer telling this jury: ‘send my former client to jail for following my legal advice.’ How many cases do you know of where that’ happened?” Turley asked.


Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to making false statements, along with charges like tax evasion and campaign finance violations, and is a key witness for prosecutors.

Cohen first asserted he paid Daniels with his personal funds and that Trump entities did not pay him back, but subsequently testified to Congress that the former president directed him to make the payment and got reimbursed, according to Reuters.

Trump’s trial commenced on Monday with jury selection, which is still ongoing, and the former president is under a gag order that was expanded on April 1. A federal judge in March asserted Cohen probably “committed perjury” in previous testimony, according to CNN.All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact [email protected].

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Jason Cohen

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Jason Cohen

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