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Michael Cohen admits he stole from Trump Organization
Michael Cohen (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Cohen admits he stole from Trump Organization

Cohen returns for third day of cross-examination in New York case against Trump.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's former attorney, admitted while on the stand Monday that he stole tens of thousands of dollars from the Trump Organization, according to live reporting from the courthouse.

During his third day of testimony, Cohen acknowledged that he pocketed money from the Trump Organization that was supposed to go to RedFinch, a technology company.

'I was angered because of the reduction in the bonus.'

Trump's attorney, Todd Blanche, confronted Cohen about his claim that he was shorted $100,000 on his yearly bonus from the Trump Organization in 2017.

"That's correct," Cohen stated, noting that he usually received a $150,000 annual bonus.

"So, the $50,000 that you got back from RedFinch ... you only paid the RedFinch owner $20,000, right?" Blanche asked Cohen.

"Yes, sir," Cohen responded.

Cohen acknowledged that he withdrew the cash over a couple of days because he "didn't want to take out $20,000."

"I don't recall if it was exactly $20,000," Cohen added.

"So, you stole from the Trump Organization," Blanche said.

"Yes, sir," Cohen replied.

"You didn't just steal the $30,000, because it was grossed up; it was $60,000," Blanche continued.

Cohen again responded, "Yes, sir."

When asked whether he ever had to plead guilty to larceny, Cohen stated that he had not.

Cohen received a total of $420,000 from Trump in 2017. According to Cohen, he was paid $130,000 for the settlement payment he made to porn actress Stormy Daniels, $50,000 for technology services to RedFinch, $180,000 for estimated taxes, and a $60,000 bonus. However, Cohen admitted that he only paid RedFinch $20,000 and pocketed the rest. Despite allegedly admitting to the theft to the district attorney's office, he did not face any charges.

"I was angered because of the reduction in the bonus, and so I just felt it was almost like self-help," Cohen testified. "And again $130,000 to have my bonus cut by two-thirds was very upsetting to say the least."

Cohen maintained that the $420,000 he received from Trump had nothing to do with legal services.

CNN legal analyst Elie Honig called Cohen's admission a "bomb dropped right in the middle of the prosecution's case."

Laura Coates with CNN stated that the defense "can establish Michael Cohen as somebody who is not to be trusted about the amount of money as well, then they might be able to establish that Donald Trump had no idea about what he was truly paying."

Blanche also presented to the jury an email from Allen Weisselberg, Trump Organization's former chief financial officer, to Cohen, discussing a potential retainer agreement. Cohen has claimed that he never had an agreement to provide legal services to the Trump Organization after he was made Trump's personal attorney.

"Thank you. You never stopped on for a bro hug. Anyway please prepare the agreement we discussed so we can pay you monthly," Weisselberg's email to Cohen read.

Additionally, Blanche confirmed with Cohen that he changed his email signature to display his role as attorney to the former president.

"It always said personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump," Blanche explained. "His job changed — meaning President Trump's job changed — your job didn't."

Cohen agreed with Blanche.

"You told everybody that was happening, correct?" Blanche asked.

"Not everybody, but I was certainly proud of the role and I announced it," Cohen responded. He acknowledged that he told TMZ, the New York Times, and appeared on Sean Hannity's show to discuss his role.

Blanche also questioned Cohen about meeting attorney Robert Costello.

Costello claimed he worked as Cohen's lawyer from April 2018 to July 2018. Cohen has denied ever having an agreement with Costello.

Last week, Costello told lawmakers during a hearing on the Weaponization of the Federal Government that Cohen had lied on the stand in the New York criminal case against Trump, Blaze News previously reported. Costello smeared Cohen's reputation, calling him an "inveterate liar."

Costello stated that Cohen repeatedly told him that he made the $130,000 payment to Daniels on his own.

"He wanted to do something to put himself back into the inner circle of Donald Trump. That's why he took care of this on his own. There had to be a motivation. Michael Cohen is always working for things that benefit himself," Costello stated.

During Monday's trial, Blanche showed the jury several emails between Costello and Cohen that suggested Costello was acting as Cohen's attorney, with or without a retainer agreement.

"Would it surprise you to learn that you actually communicated on the phone either you calling Mr. Costello or Mr. Costello calling you 75 times?" Blanche asked Cohen.

"Seems excessive but," Cohen paused for a while. "Possible."

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →