Michael Cohen’s ‘hatred’ for Trump will be ‘bonanza’ for defense: CNN analyst

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig took aim at Michael Cohen on Tuesday and suggested his outward dislike for presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump would be a “bonanza” for the defense team. 

“The fact that Michael Cohen so obviously and over-the-top is consumed by hatred for Donald Trump, and wants him in prison, is celebrating and is selling t-shirts is outrageous. We sort of take it for granted because this has just been Michael Cohen‘s public persona for the last five, six years. This should be a bonanza for cross-examination,” Honig said, after CNN’s John Berman read the Trump team’s questions for Cohen on Tuesday. 

Honig suggested the prosecution would have to “think hard about dismissing the case” after finding out that Cohen had sold t-shirts depicting Trump in prison. 

Trump’s defense team cross-examined Cohen on Tuesday and focused much of the questioning on his anti-Trump merchandise as well as his negative statements about the former president. 

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig warns Michael Cohen’s hatred for Donald Trump could be trouble for the prosecution.  (Screenshot/CNN)

MICHAEL COHEN TIKTOK VIDEOS, FUNDRAISING STUN LEGAL OBSERVERS: MAY HAVE ‘TORPEDOED CASE AGAINST TRUMP’

“Laughing about a defendant going to jail, I think it’s offensive to the jury,” Honig continued. “That’s not for Michael Cohen to say and fantasize about.”

Former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Toobin said it was one thing for Cohen to express dislike for Trump, but that discussing the potential results of the hush money case was bad for the prosecution. 

“If you are talking about the results of this case, I mean, that’s what this case is about, whether Donald Trump is eligible to go to prison or not. And you have Cohen campaigning for that. That’s a very negative, negative thing,” Toobin said. 

Toobin, a former CNN legal analyst, said the jury was unlikely to forget the Trump team’s focus on Cohen wanting the former president to be in prison.

Former Trump attorney, Michael Cohen, departs his home for Manhattan Criminal Court for the trial of former US President Donald Trump for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs in New York City, on May 14, 2024.  (TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Cohen testified that he worked closely with Trump prior to the 2016 election and that he negotiated on his behalf with adult film actress Stormy Daniels. A hush money payment to Daniels, who has claimed she was paid to stay silent about an alleged affair with Trump, is at the heart of the charges against Trump that he falsified business records.

He also said that he had secretly recorded Trump ahead of the election. The recording was related to a payment made to former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, according to the testimony.

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his criminal trial, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 15, 2024.  (Angela Weiss/AFP via AP Pool)

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Pecker had paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 to purchase her story that she had an affair with Trump and to subsequently quiet her claims ahead of the election. 

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records related to DA Alvin Bragg’s investigation. 

Fox News’ Emma Colton contributed to this report.