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Trump trial recap: Judge clears courtroom in fiery exchange with Trump witness Costello

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65% : Trump appeared to be looking ahead for the most part during that testimony, but he made a side glance in Cohen's direction, before turning his eyes ahead again.- Aysha BagchiJury hears audio recording of Cohen pondering breaking from Trump 'doctrine'Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger played an audio recording for the jury of Michael Cohen speaking with Keith Davidson, the former lawyer to Stormy Daniels.
59% : I've never seen anything like it in my life.
58% : Trump trial recap: Judge clears courtroom in fiery exchange with Trump witness CostelloAysha Bagchi, Bart Jansen, Kinsey Crowley and Karissa Waddick, USA TODAYUpdated May 21, 2024 at 12:44 AMNEW YORK - A furious Judge Juan Merchan cleared his Manhattan courtroom of jurors, spectators, and the press Monday afternoon to chastise a key defense witness for Donald Trump after he made an exasperated comment about the judge's rulings.
54% : After reviewing the texts, Cohen said part of the call was about the 14-year-old, but he knew the bodyguard was with Trump and "there was more than potentially just this.""I always ran everything by the boss immediately.
53% : "You saw what happened to a highly respected lawyer, Bob Costello," Trump said.
53% : Cohen also confirmed speaking to Tiffany Trump and to the general counsel at the parent company.
52% : He said there's no dispute that Michael Cohen provided legal services to Trump in 2017, in keeping with how payments to Cohen were characterized in those records.
52% : Proceedings should start back up at about 2:15 p.m. EDT.- Aysha BagchiProsecution wants to show jurors photo of Trump with bodyguard near time of major phone callJudge Juan Merchan dismissed jurors for lunch, but kept the lawyers and the rest of the courtroom.
52% : I just counted to 66, with a "Mississippi" between each number, before Trump opened his eyes.
51% : Merchan then excused the jurors from the courtroom.- Aysha BagchiJudge clears the courtroom after fiery exchange with Trump witness CostelloJudge Juan Merchan has cleared the courtroom after a fiery exchange with Trump witness Robert Costello.- Aysha Bagchi'I swear to God, Bob, I don't have anything on Donald Trump'Costello, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan, has started testifying.
51% : And my concern was anything I would say to him would immediately go back to President Trump.
51% : Cohen also published a book in 2020, "Disloyal: A Memoir," in which he wrote extensively about Trump.
50% : Court security officers then forced all reporters to leave the courtroom, seemingly so Merchan could further reprimand Costello outside of our presence.- Aysha Bagchi'Geez!' 'Sorry?': Testy exchange between judge and Trump witness in front of jurorsBefore excusing jurors from the courtroom, and later excusing reporters from the room, Judge Merchan had a testy exchange with Costello.
50% : The prosecution is challenging the admissibility of testimony from Costello.- Aysha BagchiMore: Lawyer assails Trump grand jury witness Michael Cohen as 'liar on revenge tour'Defense calls lawyer Robert Costello to testifyThe Trump defense team has called lawyer Robert Costello to the witness stand.- Aysha BagchiSitko steps down as defense witnessProsecutor Rebecca Mangold asked Daniel Sitko, a paralegal at defense attorney Todd Blanche's law firm, some brief questions about the call summary he prepared.
50% : Before the trial started, Trump said he would take the stand.
49% : Third, Blanche said there are no crimes being covered up by the records, which is an important element in charging Trump with felonies.
49% : Weisselberg was the chief financial officer of the Trump Organization at the time.- Aysha BagchiJurors see image of Trump with bodyguard on Oct. 24, 2016Jurors were brought back into the courtroom and Michael Cohen resumed testifying.
49% : Weisselberg said in front of Trump that the money would be repaid in monthly installments as if it were for legal services under an agreement to retain Cohen as a lawyer in 2017.
48% : He also said he hoped to make money from a potential TV show that would focus on him.- Aysha BagchiTrump supporters attending trial include a state attorney general and 4 House membersMore than a dozen government officials and supporters of former President Donald Trump accompanied him to his New York hush money trial on Monday, including South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson and four U.S. House members.
47% : Cohen confirmed to Hoffinger that his situation is different at this trial because his life isn't on the line and he's not the defendant.- Aysha BagchiCohen looking into jurors' eyes during story of Trump not wanting to pay for polling helpCohen is delivering an extended answer to a question from prosecutor Susan Hoffinger about paying a company called RedFinch for polling assistance.
47% : "No sir," Cohen said.- Aysha BagchiCohen asked about calls with Tiffany Trump on Oct. 25, 2016Blanche has seemed to be bouncing between different topics somewhat this morning.
46% : Cohen told jurors he made about $4 million from podcasts and books since flipping on Trump.
45% : Prosecutors want to show jurors the photo to counter the most heated portion of Trump lawyer Todd Blanche's cross-examination of Cohen, who had earlier testified that a call to Schiller at 8:02 p.m. that day was to discuss the Stormy Daniels hush money payment with Trump.
45% : Cohen ultimately paid the company only $20,000, rather than $50,000, but still asked for a $50,000 reimbursement from Trump or the Trump Organization, according to earlier cross-examination by Trump lawyer Todd Blanche.
45% : Trump said he would prefer to be giving speeches, and that he had to turn down appearances in Iowa and New Hampshire because of the trial.
44% : He asked if Cohen is considering writing a third book and Cohen said yes, although he doesn't currently have a book deal.- Aysha BagchiCohen made $4 million from podcasts and books since flipping on Trump: testimonyTrump lawyer Todd Blanche asked Cohen about money he has made since flipping on Trump, including from podcasts and books in that time.
44% : In that call, Trump agreed they would move forward with the hush money deal, Cohen had said.
42% : Prosecutors want to show that former Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller was with Trump around the time of a 8:02 p.m. call from Cohen to Schiller on Oct. 24, 2016.
41% : Trump, the first-ever former president to face criminal indictment, is charged with falsifying business records to cover up hush money paid to porn star Stormy Daniels on his behalf ahead of the 2016 election.
41% : Second, Blanche said, there is no evidence Trump had an intent to defraud when it came to the business records, which is an element of the charges prosecutors must prove.
41% : Cohen testified earlier that he found Costello "sketchy" character who had proposed to act as a back channel to communicate with Trump when he was in the White House.
41% : However, Cohen disputed the suggestion that he has a financial interest in Trump being found guilty.
41% : They have also said the records were designed to hide plans to violate state tax and election laws.- Aysha BagchiWhat testimony did Cohen provide the prosecution?Cohen delivered major testimony for the prosecution last week, telling jurors that Trump said "Just do it" about paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
40% : Cohen responded that he believes he also spoke to Trump about the hush money payment during the call.
40% : Soon after, Blanche finished asking questions, and the prosecution rested its case.- Aysha Bagchi'My entire life has been turned upside down': Cohen ends redirect testimonyProsecutor Susan Hoffinger asked Cohen how breaking from Trump has affected him.
40% : Will Trump testify?
39% : The actor from the Bronx who pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges in the late 1980s served six years in prison.
39% : You can admit it!"Cohen replied the he believed he also spoke to Trump about the hush money.
38% : The image shows Trump and his former bodyguard, Keith Schiller, together at 7:57 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2016.
38% : That was minutes before a phone call from Cohen to Schiller that Cohen has said he believes included talking directly to Trump about a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.- Aysha BagchiProsecutor says C-SPAN is arranging travel for witnessAfter a break of mere minutes, the prosecution and defense teams returned to the courtroom.
38% : Blanche asked Cohen to confirm that his name recognition is for attacking Trump.
37% : Cohen confirmed the image showed Trump with his then-bodyguard, Keith Schiller.
37% : Trump secured the company's services after he was unhappy with his performance in polling about successful businessmen.
37% : Cohen agreed with Blanche that he and Tiffany Trump communicated on Oct. 25, 2016 about her concerns that someone was trying to blackmail her.
37% : "He approved it," Cohen told jurors, speaking about his former boss.- Aysha BagchiA 'gotcha' moment for Trump against Cohen?The most heated and potentially significant part of Blanche's cross-examination of Cohen so far was about a phone call at 8:02 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2016.
36% : Cohen testified that Trump directed him to engineer payments to two women who alleged in the runup to the 2016 presidential election that they had affairs with the married candidate.
35% : Costello described Cohen saying he was on the roof of the Regency Hotel and he was going to jump off and kill himself because he couldn't withstand the ongoing pressure of the criminal case.- Aysha BagchiCostello denies pressure campaign against CohenUnder questioning from Trump lawyer Emil Bove, Robert Costello testified that he treated Michael Cohen like a client, and had Cohen's interests in mind when Donald Trump's then-fixer was under federal investigation.
35% : And Costello said Cohen told him "numerous times" that he did this on his own - an apparent reference to the hush money deals surrounding Donald Trump.
35% : Cohen went on to say: "I'm sitting there and I'm saying to myself, what about me?"- Aysha Bagchi'No doubt' Trump gave instruction on hush money payment: CohenCohen testified that he has "no doubt" he had a conversation with Trump in which Trump directed him to work out with Allen Weisselberg how to pay porn star Stormy Daniels hush money.
35% : Cohen has testified that he discussed a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels with Trump during that call, while Trump lawyer Todd Blanche suggested the call was only with Schiller to discuss phone harassment Cohen was facing.- Aysha BagchiTrial proceedings re-start with video questionTrial proceedings have started up again after lunch.
33% : He also denied putting Cohen under a pressure campaign not to flip on Trump.- Aysha BagchiMore: Wonder what it would be like to watch the Trump trial?
32% : "You did not talk to President Trump on that night; you talked to Keith Schiller about what we just went through.
32% : The date at issue is close in time to the $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, which was made around Oct. 27, 2016.- Aysha BagchiCohen asked about helping Tiffany Trump with extortionTrump lawyer Todd Blanche asked Michael Cohen whether he remembers helping Tiffany Trump - the youngest Trump daughter - with a potential extortion involving photographs.
32% : Merchan said the email didn't fall into an exception to the prohibition against hearsay for out-of-court statements that show the state of mind of the person who was speaking.- Aysha BagchiWill Donald Trump testify?
32% : Cohen also said Trump approved a scheme to misrepresent his reimbursement to Cohen.
32% : Cohen said he met with Trump and former Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg to hash out the details of getting paid back.
32% : "You did not talk to President Trump on that night; you talked to Keith Schiller about what we just went through.
31% : Cohen said Trump ultimately didn't want to pay the company because Trump didn't believe the company had helped him enough.
31% : Blanche then asked Cohen to confirm there is no doubt in his mind about specifically recalling conversations with Trump about the hush money Cohen paid porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016.
31% : On his way into the courthouse Monday morning, Trump ignored reporters' questions on whether or not he would testify.
31% : "We have tyranny right now," Trump said.
30% : "I'm not allowed to have anything to do with politics because I'm sitting in a very freezing cold courtroom for the last four weeks," Trump said.
29% : ""The press is not happy, I don't imagine," Trump added.
29% : Costello is a lawyer who Cohen testified tried to create a back channel of communication to Trump through Rudy Giuliani.
29% : Cohen earlier testified the call was to Trump's bodyguard to get Trump on the phone and "discuss the Stormy Daniels matter and the resolution of it."
28% : Merchan said Trump lawyer Emil Bove can ask Costello about two prior inconsistent statements from Michael Cohen, and the judge will also give Bove "some latitude" to explore Cohen's claim that Trump was engaging in a "pressure campaign" to prevent him from cooperating with investigators after his office was raided by the FBI.
28% : He confirmed he pleaded guilty to a tax crime and making false statements to a bank, which were crimes that didn't involve doing favors for Trump.
28% : Trump is under a gag order not to talk about witnesses or jurors in the trial.
28% : Michael Cohen testified he met with the lawyer as he was facing criminal trouble, and Costello allegedly proposed a back channel of communication with Trump through former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
28% : It is unclear if Trump will testify in the hush money trial.
28% : Trump was charged with felonies, not just misdemeanors, because the records were falsified to commit or conceal another crime, according to prosecutors.
27% : Here are the top Monday developments from inside and outside the Manhattan courtroom:Trump says 'never seen anything like' judge's scolding of witness CostelloFormer President Donald Trump railed against Judge Juan Merchan's treatment of a witness, Robert Costello, in his New York hush money trial, but found himself unable to detail his criticism because of a gag order that prevents him from commenting on witnesses.
27% : Whether Trump is found guilty "is not going to affect whether I speak about it or not," Cohen said.
26% : But Cohen said he lost his license because of the totality of crimes he pleaded guilty to, which included campaign finance violations and lying to Congress in relation to Trump.
26% : Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass then raised the prosecution's desire to show jurors a photo that Steinglass said displays Trump with his former bodyguard, Keith Schiller, at 7:57 p.m. on Oct. 24, 2016.
26% : Cohen previously testified that Costello was a lawyer who tried - at a time Cohen was facing criminal threats - to establish a backchannel of communication from Cohen to Trump through Rudy Giuliani.
26% : This is a core issue in the case because Trump allegedly falsified records to make it look like he was paying Cohen for ongoing legal expenses under a retainer agreement, instead of reimbursing Cohen for a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.
25% : Trump has since blamed the gag order for preventing him from testifying, but Judge Juan Merchan has reiterated that Trump has the right to testify if he chooses, as the gag order only applies to out-of-court statements.
24% : Costello will return to the stand on Tuesday, with no definitive word on whether Trump himself will testify.
24% : They have alleged Trump was hiding the violation of federal campaign finance laws by paying Stormy Daniels so her story wouldn't hurt his chances in the 2016 presidential election.
23% : Donald Trump and allies are bracing voters for the worst'It's disrespectful': How Trump witness peeved the judgeDefense witness Robert Costello's puckish behavior on the witness stand was "unusual," said Diana Florence, a former Manhattan prosecutor, after Judge Juan Merchan ordered the courtroom cleared Monday afternoon in response to Costello's comments from the witness stand.
22% : "Blanche referenced testimony from Cohen at trial about a phone call to Trump's bodyguard in which Cohen said he discussed the Stormy Daniels hush money payment with Trump.
22% : He said Michael Cohen previously told him: "I swear to God, Bob, I don't have anything on Donald Trump.
21% : Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has testified Costello served as an intermediary between himself and Trump after the FBI raided Cohen's home in 2018.
20% : A tyrant," Trump said of Merchan.
16% : However, at least one juror indicated it would be a problem.- Aysha BagchiWhat is Trump on trial for?Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.
15% : "- Aysha BagchiProsecutor hammers in on Trump's criminal chargesCohen confirmed to prosecutor Susan Hoffinger that he didn't have a retainer agreement for his work for Trump.
15% : Last week, Blanche got Cohen to confirm having said during the trial that Trump belongs in a "cage, like an animal," using an expletive before the word, "cage."- Aysha BagchiCohen admits to stealing from Trump OrganizationBlanche asked Cohen about a portion of the money Cohen was allegedly reimbursed by Trump through 2017 payments.
13% : "No judge except this one would allow this case to continue," said Trump, who quoted John Adams saying "liberty without virtue is tyranny."
8% : In particular, Blanche said, an agreement between Trump, Cohen, and a tabloid publisher to keep an eye out for stories that were bad for Trump ahead of the 2016 election isn't evidence of criminal intent.- Aysha BagchiJury dismissed until tomorrow but lawyers stay for

*Our bias meter rating uses data science including sentiment analysis, machine learning and our proprietary algorithm for determining biases in news articles. Bias scores are on a scale of -100% to 100% with higher negative scores being more liberal and higher positive scores being more conservative, and 0% being neutral. The rating is an independent analysis and is not affiliated nor sponsored by the news source or any other organization.

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