Michael Cohen's lawyer says NY case against Trump is 'very solid' and likely jurors need only ask themselves if Trump had 'any political motivation' for the Stormy Daniels payment

Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, center, is joined by his attorney, Lanny Davis before Cohen's grand jury appearance in mid-March.
Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, center, is joined by his attorney, Lanny Davis before Cohen's grand jury appearance in mid-March.Mary Altaffer/AP
  • Michael Cohen's attorney said the case against Donald Trump is "very solid," though it won't "be an easy case."

  • Attorney Lanny Davis said Cohen will be a "principal witness" if the Manhattan investigation goes to trial.

  • Potential jurors need only ask if Trump had "any political motivation" in the payments to Stormy Daniels, he said.

Michael Cohen's attorney believes the criminal case against Donald Trump in the Manhattan District Attorney's investigation is "very solid" though it's "not going to be an easy case."

Cohen, Trump's longtime political fixer turned political adversary, is expected to be a "principal witness" in the case if it goes to trial, attorney Lanny Davis told NBC's "Meet the Press NOW" on Friday.


"It's not going to be an easy case because they do have to create a novel law," Davis said. "But here is why I think it's a very, very solid case, maybe more solid than any of the other cases. Everyone's missing this."

There is only "one question that the jury has to ask and answer," Davis told NBC News host Chuck Todd.

"The legal issue will be decided by a judge, but the factual question is very simple: Did Donald Trump have any political motivation when he directed Michael to pay $130,000 to Stormy?" Davis said. "Any."

The former president was indicted by the Manhattan grand jury on Thursday in the investigation of hush money paid to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Trump is expected to surrender next week and faces over 30 charges in the indictment, according to a CNN report.


Cohen's attorney told NBC News: "His defense is going to be, 'No, it was all about worrying about Melania.' Now I put to your audience and to any jury, you decide whether that's a believable excuse. Certainly waiting until the end of the election alone is an inference that there was political concern."

Trump's attorney, Joe Tacopina, has argued that the payments were unrelated to Trump's political campaign and were completed with personal funds, according to NBC News. Alina Habba, another Trump attorney, said in a statement on Thursday that Trump was a "victim of a corrupt and distorted version of the American justice system" who would "be vindicated."

Cohen, who pleaded guilty to felonies related to the hush money payments in 2018, said he has had over a dozen sit-downs with the prosecutors in the investigation, calling them "well versed" and "well informed."

"There's lots of testimony, lots of documentation about political motivation. If a jury says yes, he had some political motivation in making the payoff – if the law is there, that's the verdict," Davies said.

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