CNN Panelists Aren’t Buying Michael Cohen’s Avowed ‘Remorse’ Will Hold Water With Jury

CNN panelists said former President Donald Trump’s previous attorney Michael Cohen’s purported repentance will not be sufficiently persuasive to the jury, given his record.

Cohen’s credibility has been intensely scrutinized due to his multiple admissions of lying under oath and public attacks against Trump, but he is the star witness against his former boss. CNN senior political analyst Gloria Borger asked the panel if Cohen’s “remorse” will make a difference in whether the jury believes his testimony, but panelists did not believe that will persuade jurors.


“Can I ask a question of the attorneys here? How much does remorse play into this because Cohen has been full of remorse,” Borger said. “Every answer is, ‘I‘m sorry I did this. I made a mistake, I hurt my family. I’m not sorry I worked for the Trump organization, but I‘m sorry about bullying people, about lying to people.’ Every single answer had that in it. The remorse was oozing out of Michael Cohen. And does that matter?”

“There’s no doubt that he’s being sincere there, that he feels he hurt his family, that he lied to many people. There’s no question about that. He very well might be. However, he also has a long string of criminal convictions, a long string of bias against the defendant, which the defense can confront him with,” CNN legal analyst Elliot Williams said. “Now, it‘s up to the jury in the slurry of ideas they have about a witness to really decide well, what do we really believe? Do we really trust this guy in the way we should and yes, I think he’s telling the truth, but was he lying back then? … So it’s complex, but again, and as we’ve sort of talked about before … defendants can still be convicted over the testimony of very complex and very troubling witnesses.”

Cohen in 2017 pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 in statements he made regarding endeavors to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow in testimony to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. A federal judge also suggested in March that the former attorney committed perjury in testimony during Trump’s civil fraud trial.

Cohen testified Monday that Trump directed him to make the payment for a nondisclosure agreement with porn star Stormy Daniels and agreed with the reimbursement plan pertaining to the falsifying business document charges in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against the former president.

“And I mean, I‘m just thinking as you said, the word remorse, Gloria, I‘m thinking in my head, I’m sort of playing out if I’m the defense attorney. If you‘re remorseful, why was your book called revenge and not remorse?” CNN anchor Dana Bash said. “Isn’t that what you’re doing here? And things like that.”

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