Former President Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer and “fixer,” Michael Cohen, will not testify next week as planned in the New Yorkagainst Trump and his company, due to a medical issue.
“Unfortunately I need to attend to a pre-existing medical condition that impedes my ability to testify this upcoming week. Rest assured, I will testify at the earliest opportunity,” Cohen said in a statement to CBS News.
The Daily Beast first reported this development.
Cohen is a key witness in the case, in which Trump and others are accused of years of systematic fraud. Cohen’s 2019 congressional testimony alleging that Trump artificially inflated his wealth was the catalyst for both, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, and a led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.
Just before proceedings broke for the weekend Friday afternoon, a lawyer working for James’ office asked to approach the bench to discuss a “scheduling issue” that arose “in the last 45 minutes.”
Lawyers for both sides huddled with the judge and then left without publicly addressing the issue.
Cohen had been expected to take the stand as soon as Tuesday and undergo at least two days of questioning. Trump, his onetime boss and now adversary, planned to attend the proceedings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Trump previously attended the first two and a half days of the trial. The state is seeking to claw back $250 million in what it calls “ill-gotten gains” from fraud, and impose sanctions designed to severely restrict his ability to do business in New York.
The trial has so far included testimony from three current and, the company’s longtime outside accountant, and a banker involved in approving loans in which Trump was a guarantor.
On Friday, the court heard testimony on exhibits showing executives scrambling to justify inflating some valuations, volleying ideasto certain assets.
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