Cohen Accused Of Perjury Prior To Testimony Against Trump

Former President Donald Trump has benefited from several recent developments in the multiple criminal cases against him, including a judge’s ruling that his legal team could appeal a decision to allow embattled prosecutor Fani Willis to remain in charge of the election interference trial currently underway in Georgia.

In the hush-money case playing out in New York, Trump received another favorable ruling, this time in the form of a ruling by U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen potentially perjured himself during testimony against the former president.

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to multiple charges including tax evasion in 2018, filed a petition for an early conclusion to his ongoing supervised release. Furman rejected the request, however, and offered evidence that Trump’s one-time confidante lied under oath.

During a civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, Cohen claimed that he lied to Judge William Pauley when pleading guilty to the charges against him.

Furman concluded that Cohen’s testimony last year “gives rise to two possibilities: One, Cohen committed perjury when he pleaded guilty before Judge Pauley, or two, Cohen committed perjury in his October 2023 testimony.”

The decision could have an implication in the criminal trial being led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, which focuses on Trump’s alleged hush-money payment to a woman who claimed the two had an affair. Cohen has been identified as the primary witness for the prosecution in that case, and Bragg’s team must now contend with the latest assessment of the disgraced attorney’s credibility on the stand.

After a 30-day delay ordered earlier this month by New York State Judge Juan Merchan, the trial is set to begin in late April. Although a motion filed by Trump’s attorneys to nix Cohen’s testimony was shot down, Furman’s ruling could cast a shadow over any forthcoming statements he makes under oath.

As Furman explained in his recent ruling: “In short, there was a ‘substantial change in circumstances’ between Cohen’s third failed application and this, his fourth. But that change — his October 2023 testimony, which was either perjurious or confirms that he committed perjury before this Court — makes plain that Cohen should be required to serve out the remainder of his supervised release term.”