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Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis pleads guilty in Georgia and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testifies in New York

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Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis pleads guilty in Georgia and former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen testifies in New York

Former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in Georgia for her role in efforts to illegally overturn the 2020 presidential election and is promising to testify in the trials of the other defendants. Meanwhile, in New York, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen is taking the stand to testify against his former boss in the financial fraud trial against Trump, his adult sons and their family businesses.

Georgia election interference

Jenna Ellis is the latest Trump lawyer to plead guilty

Key characters: Former Trump-affiliated lawyers Jenna Ellis, Rudy Giuliani, Kenneth Chesebro, Sidney Powell And John Eastman. Fulton County District Attorney Fani WillisJudge Scott McAfee

  • Days after pro-Trump lawyers Chesebro and Powell pleaded guilty to election interference charges in Georgia and agreed to testify against other defendants, former Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis became the fourth of 19 defendants to take a deal with Willis , Politico reported.

  • “If I had known then what I know now, I would have declined to represent Donald Trump in these post-election challenges,” an emotional Ellis said Tuesday morning as she pleaded guilty.

  • Ellis admitted to McAfee that she spread lies about voter fraud in several states in 2020 to help Trump stay in power.

  • “What I didn’t do, but should have done, your honor, was make sure that the facts that the other lawyers thought were true were actually true,” she said.

  • As with Chesebro and Powell, the terms of the plea deal will spare her from going to prison if she is found guilty at trial. Instead, she must pay a $5,000 fine, serve five years of probation, write a letter of apology to Georgia residents and, most importantly, cooperate with Willis in prosecuting others in the case.

  • In March, Ellis was reprimanded by a judge in Colorado for spreading false election claims. Giuliani’s law license was suspended in New York over the same claims, and Eastman is in the midst of disbarment proceedings in New York for his role in the election subversion conspiracy.

Why it matters: Ellis knows firsthand the actions of defendants like Giuliani and Trump and will be forced to testify against them.

Financial fraud in New York

Michael Cohen takes the stand as Trump looks on

Key characters: Former Trump lawyer Michael CohenNew York Attorney General Letitia JamesJudge Arthur Engoron

  • Cohen took the witness stand on Tuesday in the New York civil trial that will decide the penalties Trump, his adult sons and the family business must pay after they were found liable for years of financial fraud. insider reported.

  • Just feet from Cohen, Trump sat at the defense table and watched as his former longtime employee-turned-adversary testified against him, claiming he inflated the value of his business assets to get cheaper loan and insurance rates.

  • “I was tasked by Mr. Trump to increase total assets based on a number he arbitrarily chose and my responsibility [former Trump Org. CFO] Allen Weisselberg was primarily supposed to “reverse engineer the value of the company’s assets to reach the number that Mr. Trump told us to achieve,” Cohen testified.

  • Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion and other crimes he committed while working for Trump. In his testimony before the House Oversight Committee in 2019, he detailed allegations that Trump routinely inflated the value of his assets, statements that James cited as the basis for their investigation.

  • “He’s a proven liar,” Trump told reporters of Cohen as he made his way to court.

Why it matters: While Trump and his lawyers will continue to attack Cohen’s credibility, he is a key witness in two cases brought against the former president: the New York financial fraud civil trial and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s hush-money case.

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Monday, October 23rd

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A photo illustration depicting a woman and a side view of Donald Trump against a red background with filing cabinets in the background.

Photo illustration: Yahoo News; Photos: Scott Olson/Getty Images, Stephanie Keith/Getty Images, Getty Images (7).

Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers told a federal appeals court on Monday that he was not responsible for defamatory statements about writer E. Jean Carroll because he was president when he first made them. After lawyer Sidney Powell’s guilty plea last week in Georgia, Trump is trying to clarify their relationship. He is also preparing to confront his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen in a New York courtroom.

E. Jean Carroll libel

Trump lawyers say “presidential immunity” protects him from having to pay Carroll for defamation

Key characters: writer E. Jean CarrollJudge Lewis Kaplan2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

  • Lawyers for Trump presented their arguments Monday that Trump should not be held liable for defamatory comments about writer E. Jean Carroll because he was president at the time. ABC News reported.

  • “Defendant-appellant’s conduct is not actually the subject of a civil action for damages because his conduct is protected by presidential immunity. “The district court’s rejection of this defense was clearly an error,” Trump’s lawyers wrote before Monday’s hearing.

  • Trump is appealing a June ruling by Kaplan that rejected the president’s immunity claims. Reuters reported. In May, a jury in Manhattan found that Trump sexually assaulted Carroll in the dressing room of a New York department store and later defamed her.

  • The jury awarded Carroll $5 million in damages, but Trump continued to make defamatory comments about her during a CNN town hall after the verdict. The second part of her lawsuit seeks an additional $10 million in damages, stemming in part from Trump’s subsequent comments.

  • In July 2020, Carroll’s lawyers argued, Trump waived the defense of his presidential immunity when his lawyers said Carroll was entitled to pursue her defamation lawsuit “when the president is no longer in office.”

  • On Monday, two appeals court judges questioned Trump’s lawyers about why the former president waited so long to assert claims of presidential immunity. Reuters reported because the case had been going on for so long.

Why it matters: Trump’s second defamation trial is scheduled to begin in January. If it is allowed to proceed, it will determine how much more money Trump has to pay Carroll.

Georgia election interference

After Sidney Powell settlement, Trump says she’s ‘not my lawyer’

Key characters: Pro-Trump lawyer Sidney PowellDistrict Attorney Fani WillisSpecial Advisor Jack Smith

  • Just days after Powell pleaded guilty to charges of trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia, Trump sought to put distance between her and himself. NBC News reported.

  • “Despite fake news reports to the contrary and without even asking the Trump campaign’s hand, MS. POWELL NOT AND NEVER WAS MY LAWYER,” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social, his social media network, on Sunday.

  • As part of her plea deal to avoid prison in the Georgia case, Powell has agreed to testify in the trials of the other 17 defendants, including Trump.

  • Chesebro, who is credited with helping devise the alternative voter strategy to challenge the election results, has also agreed to a plea deal and agreed to testify against other defendants.

Why it matters: Whether Trump hired Powell to represent him may ultimately be irrelevant. She attended a meeting with the president at the White House and sued Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, alleging “massive voter fraud.” Trump saw fit to post a story about the lawsuit on his Twitter feed, as Smith noted in his federal indictment against the former president.

Financial fraud in New York

Michael Cohen is scheduled to testify on Tuesday

Key characters: Former Trump lawyer Michael CohenNew York Attorney General Letitia JamesJudge Arthur EngoronManhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg

  • Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, is expected to take the witness stand on Tuesday and face his former boss in person. The hill reported.

  • Cohen is one of James’ key witnesses in the $250 million civil trial that will determine the penalties Trump, his adult sons and their family business must pay after Engoron found him liable for years of financial fraud.

  • In an interview with CNN this month, Cohen said: “Everything that happened at the Trump Organization happened with the direct knowledge and direction of Donald J. Trump and was ultimately approved by him.”

  • Trump, who was present for much of the trial, told reporters last week that “Cohen did not have the courage” to appear.

  • Cohen cited a “pre-existing medical condition” as the reason for not testifying last week, adding that he was not afraid to testify in front of his former boss.

Why it matters: Since Cohen was jailed for tax evasion related to his duties with Trump, he has become one of the former president’s harshest critics. His testimony will be central to both Bragg’s financial fraud trial and criminal case related to Trump’s alleged $130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.