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Former President Donald Trump is being sued by 2015 protestors who gathered outside Trump Tower. They allege “wanton and malicious assaults and batteries” from security guards under the direction of Trump. Security guards allegedly roughed up protestors and took away their “Let’s Make America Racist Again” signs. Trump testified he had no knowledge of this behavior but asserted his security staff “did nothing wrong.”
Until Monday, the select committee has been stonewalled, according to Politico. However, investigators have found a way around this issue by interviewing the deputies and assistants of his election-subversion wingmen.
On Monday, May 9, 2022, investigators interviewed Michael Cohen. This was a four-hour deposition. Cohen was Trump’s attorney and “fixer.” He testified that he personally witnessed his boss ordering security guards at Trump Tower to “get rid” of protestors outside after he made derogatory comments about Mexicans during his 2016 presidential candidacy.
In 2018, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison by a Manhattan judge for criminal conduct. This included paying off women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump and lying to Congress about Trump’s Russian business dealings.
Cohen used to be one of Trump’s strongest supporters. However, he is now cooperating with the New York Attorney General’s Office and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office concerning his former boss’ business practices. So far, Trump has not been accused of any criminal behavior.
Cohen told investigators he was surprised Trump let this case get so far. Neither Cohen nor Trump will be live at the trial. Their depositions have been recorded and will be submitted as their testimony.
The civil trial has been scheduled for June 22 in New York Bronx’s Supreme Court. Jurors will watch a video of the incident as well as recorded depositions from Trump and Cohen. Trump asserts that he had no idea about the altercation between protestors and bodyguard Keith Schiller until the next day. He also stated his bodyguards “did nothing wrong” in his deposition.
During his deposition, the former president went on a rabbit trail concerning the danger of people throwing fruit at him such as pineapple, tomatoes, and bananas during his events.
Alina Habba is Trump’s attorney for this civil trial and she expressed to reporters that she is not impressed Cohen’s testimony was allowed at the last minute. Additionally, Habba had some choice words to describe Cohen. She referred to his testimony as an “ambush.”
Habba sent Cohen a subpoena early on in the investigation but it was ignored. Cohen stated it was defective and only testified after receiving a proper subpoena from the protestors’ attorneys Benjamin N. Dictor and Nathaniel K. Charny.
The Jan. 6, 2020, Insurrection Update
Some of the most critical information has come from assistants who were in the room for secret conversations but were not members of Trump’s inner circle. Additionally, secrets have come out from those who had to carry out orders from his candidacy. The select committee is taking full advantage of the fact senior officials in Washington, D.C. lean on their assistants, young associates, and subordinates to “get things done,” according to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) who is a member of the select committee.
A lot of these people still have their ethics intact and don’t want to squander the rest of their careers for other people’s mistakes and corruption.
Cassidy Hutchinson was an adviser to Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows. Ken Klukowski was the adviser to Jeffrey Clark who was an official for the Justice Department. Both of these individuals have assisted the select committee in filling in the gaps concerning private meetings, phone calls, and Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Investigators are also aware of the activities of key players weeks before January 6.
The select committee is confident they have gathered the complete picture of the incident without honest testimony from the central figures involved. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the select committee chairperson, said the panel does not need those who are household names because they have interviewed people who have the same knowledge and information leading up to the January 6 insurrection and these people are willingly coming forward.
Select committee member Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) pointed out that emails and meetings include staff, not just the principal players. These are the champions of this case. These testimonies have allowed investigators to put together a minute-by-minute account of the incident on January 6 in addition to events that led up to the insurrection.
Written by Jeanette Vietti
The Independent: ‘The truth does not benefit Donald’: Michael Cohen testifies in lawsuit against Trump; by Alex Woodward
Business Insider: ‘Get rid of them!’ Donald Trump told security who attacked protesters, Michael Cohen swears in new deposition; by Laura Italiano
NBC News: Michael Cohen testifies for 4 hours in lawsuit against Donald Trump; by Dareh Gregorian and Adam Reiss