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Defense at Trump hush money trial to cross-examine star witness Michael Cohen

New York (AP) — Prosecutors' star witness in the hush money case against Donald Trump will be back in the hot seat Thursday as defense lawyers try to chip away at Michael Cohen’s crucial testimony implicating the former president.

The trial will resume in Manhattan with potentially explosive defense cross-examination of Cohen, whose credibility could determine the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s fate in the case.

Cohen is prosecutors’ final witness — at least for now — as they try to prove Trump schemed to suppress a damaging story he feared would torpedo his 2016 presidential campaign, and then falsified business records to cover it up.

The trial is in its 18th day. The defense is not expected to call many witnesses.

Over two days on the witness stand, Cohen placed Trump directly at the center of the alleged scheme to stifle negative stories to fend off damage to his White House bid. Cohen told jurors that Trump promised to reimburse him for the money he fronted and was constantly updated about efforts to silence women who alleged sexual encounters with him. Trump denies the women’s claims.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts.

The case is the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president and the first of four prosecutions of Trump to reach a jury.

Currently:

— The jurors are getting a front row seat to history — most of the time

— Lies, loyalty and a gag order upheld: Tuesday’s Trump hush money trial takeaways

— Speaker Mike Johnson’s appearance is a remarkable moment

— Trump hush money case: A timeline of key events

— Key players: Who’s who at Trump’s hush money criminal trial

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