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CNN Live Event/Special

Now: Prosecution Making Closing Argument. Aired 2:30-3p ET

Aired May 28, 2024 - 14:30   ET



AUDIE CORNISH, CNN HOST: So it's asking the jurors to go back in time and remember what that atmosphere was like.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Those of us who thought that "Access Hollywood" video --


BLITZER: -- would do it.

CORNISH: -- disqualifying somehow.

BLITZER: It didn't.

LAURA COATES, CNN HOST: There's an important point that's being raised now, which is so crucial that everyone was talking about.

The idea that Michael Cohen stole from the Trump Organization by essentially padding this amount of money that was to be paid by a polling entity that was trying to buttress the credibility of Trump in the public's eyes.

And they -- the prosecutor talks about this situation where they are very criticized for not having fronted it more fulsomely in front of their direct.

And he says that, look, that we -- he should have had, in that dealing, we agree. It's true he was never charged with that. He's also the one, talking about Cohen, who brought it to everyone's attention.

But he goes on to talk about how it's -- none of this matters because it's not a defense to false business charges, too, if you say one of the conspirators is also guilty of dealings from another.

So again, this is the benefit of when you're the person to be able to make the final and have the final say.

This was not fronted for, what, those two hours or more in the actual defense's case? They didn't bring up at all the fact that Michael Cohen had been stealing in some capacity.

And the fact that he was the one to now bring it up in the actual memory, perhaps, of the jurors is now going to be important. This redirects the jury's attention to why we're here, falsified

business records. Not why the people who we're involved are problematic.

ELIE HONIG, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: There's three primary weaknesses that Michael Cohen has, three fundamental weaknesses. And we've already seen Steinglass in the first 20 minutes or so of this jury address, try to bolster them, try to reinforce Michael Cohen on all.

One, he's a liar. He said, well, look at all the other evidence, look at all the other documents.

Two, he's biased. And what the D.A. has said is, of course he's biased. He served time, in part, for this. Anyone in that position would feel the same.

And then, finally, the theft, which is a big deal. I'm actually not buying the theft argument here. He's saying, I suspect you will continue to do that regardless of the outcome of this trial.

I mean, the argument about, well, he came forward with it. That doesn't really answer the question of, first of all, why wasn't he charged, with the D.A., the guy standing in front of the jury?

His office was the one that made the decision not to charge Michael Cohen with this. They knew about it within the statute of limitations, gave Michael Cohen a pass. I'm not so moved by the, well, he came forward with it.

Also, the relevance of the theft isn't just Michael Cohen's a bad guy. The relevance of a theft is it shows Trump didn't know what was going on with this transaction, if he's getting stolen from in the course of this very transaction.

But he's dealing with the three primary weaknesses of Michael Cohen, putting up right up front and giving the jury a path to say, OK, he has these weaknesses, but we can still use --

ELLIOTT WILLIAMS, CNN LEGAL ANALYST: I don't know if the jury is going to be aware of the fact that prosecutors passed on --


HONIG: -- he asked, Blanche asked, have you ever been charged for that theft and Cohen said no.

WILLIAMS: But I mean, how much time did they spend on it in their close? I just think it's the kind of thing that's sort of buried in the trial. And, yes, it's an important fact but I wonder how much -- how resonant it will be.


BLITZER: everybody standby. There's a lot more we need to assess, to discuss.

A very important day unfolding, right now.

Abby, back to you.


We've got Paula Reid and Kirsten Holmes back with us here in New York.

And the conversation that is happening in the courtroom right now is about Michael Cohen and his credibility.

And one of the key thing things that the prosecutors are calling out the defense for is the inconsistency in saying Michael Cohen's a thief, but then also disputing that this was a reimbursement.

They're saying you can't -- you can call him a thief or you can say it wasn't a reimbursement, but not both.

PAULA REID, CNN CHIEF LEGAL AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: I was not as impressed by that as I read that. Because, of course, the theory of the defense's case is that Cohen was invoicing for legal services because he was proud to be the president's lawyer.

And then later, during this trial, I think most people, including the prosecutors, found out that he actually stole $60,000 and put that (INAUDIBLE).

I thought it was a fuzzier argument. But they're doing the right thing. They're trying to get -- get it out of the way, right?

The Stormy Daniels testimony that made a lot of people, at times, feel a little icky.


REID: Does she dislike the defendant? Yes.


REID: So I think they're doing a good job of getting -- getting that for a --


PHILLIP: -- a second, because I think one of the other points that they're making is on the theft.

The defense is acknowledging that the theft was of money that was grossed up, a reimbursement, the same -- the exact same structure as the Stormy Daniels payment.

The prosecution is arguing, you can't have it both ways by acknowledging that that was the structure of the payment to the pollster, but not the structure of the payment for Stormy Daniels.

REID: Yes, as I understand it, the math that Cohen gave them, he -- he grossed it out because he paid actually pay $20,000. He didn't pay $30,000. And then doubled it for his own tax purposes.

So in this particular argument, I see what they're trying to do. But I didn't -- I didn't think it was their stronger -- their strongest points.

So far, they've been pretty coherent though. I think more so than the defense.

PHILLIP: One of the things that they're doing right now is a lot of clean up here. Because where --


PHILLIP: Yes, for Michael Cohen. And also Stormy Daniels to a degree.

REID: Yes.

PHILLIP: Where the prosecution left off was basically to say, all of these people are lying to you. All of these people are not telling the truth.


And the prosecution's task now is to say, look, we know that this kind of feels icky. These are bad guys, probably many of them. But you have to look past that.

KRISTEN HOLMES, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, that's the same thing we've heard from Donald Trump's team, too, is can we just paint this as a trial of some of the sleazy underbelly of society that, yes, Donald Trump was involved with? But does that make it a crime? And that's something that they've pointed out.

Now, obviously, I think, as you said, there is a certain ick factor with not just having a porn star up there, but also having a number of these witnesses talking about extortion over a sex tape, talking about various celebrities.

PHILLIP: And Michael Cohen making money off of Donald Trump, which they -- Steinglass just addressed, saying, hey, this is all this guy has left.

HOLMES: And I think what's really interesting here is they're trying to explain the turn. Because what you saw from the defense and Michael Cohen, because what we saw from the defense was them saying he just turned because, all of a sudden, it was more lucrative for him to go on the other side of this.

The Donald Trump kind of distanced himself from there, so he realized that he could make more money lying on the other side. That's what you've heard the defense use.

So now what they're doing is trying to say, no. And then one of the things that we didn't -- didn't come up there, but I do want to re- read, is when the prosecution was up and they said Cohen did Trump's bidding for years and when it went bad, the defendant cut him loose, dropped him like a hot potato, and tweeted to the world that Mr. Cohen was a scumbag.

So clearly trying to show a moment where, all of a sudden, Cohen was out there alone, and that's why he turned on Donald Trump because he essentially had two.

Now, you started to see this back-and-forth here as Steinglass continued going through, really, again, as you said, trying to clean up some of this Cohen testimony.

Because we know that the defense spent so much time saying that this entire case hinged on Michael Cohens testimony.

PHILLIP: Another likely -- another big aspect of Michael Cohen's testimony is that October 24th, call. And according to our reporters in the room, Steinglass just acted out a big rendition of the call.

He said it was 49 seconds, a back-and-forth, a hypothetical back-and- forth between Michael Cohen, Keith Schiller, perhaps Donald Trump, that could fit into that 90-second window that the prosecutor -- that the defense said couldn't possibly have happened.

REID: I mean, he is showing that a could have happened. And it's to the jury to decide if they believe, given the circumstances -- we're talking about this prank caller, if that's how he used that precious 49 seconds.

But I think we heard earlier from our colleagues, about how acting as part of this. We saw that on the defense with Todd Blanche talking in circles and throwing his arms up. And now Steinglass says sort of acting out this fake call.

PHILLIP: I'm going to bring it in now Bryan Lanza. He served as deputy communications director for Trump's 2016 campaign. He's also a partner at Mercury Public Affairs.

Bryan, actually as we're coming on here, I'm seeing from our reporters, Steinglass, the prosecutor, is saying that the defense has tried to claim that that call was the big lie.

That's a very pointed use of language from Steinglass on the prosecution there, basically saying the call happened and the defense is trying to pretend like it didn't.

What do you make of what you heard from the defense earlier this morning and the rebuttal that we're just getting now from the prosecution?

BRYAN LANZA, FORMER COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR FOR TRUMP 2016 CAMPAIGN: First of all, Abby, thank you for having me.

Listen, I think the challenge that the prosecution has and the reason the defense can say that that call, you know, maybe wasn't a Trump phone call, it was probably a Keith Schiller phone call, is because it just goes to the heart of the case. It's not a documents case that puts the felony in Trump's -- in

Trump's orbit. It's -- it's the conversation of he, Cohen, talking about falsifying the records before the election.

And that requires the jury to believe Michael Cohen. It requires them to feel that this guy's not a scumbag, a slimeball, a thief, a crook and all these things. And all this we've seen in the last two things is it just gets reinforced that he is, in fact, a thief. We now know he's a crook.

Now I have a question. Did he keep the money? Like we're talking about whether he got prosecuted or not. But did Michael Cohen actually have to return the money? Like if he didn't have to return the money, that to me feels like the bigger scandal.

But, yes, I mean, you know, if you -- if you're looking at what the prosecution has to do, they have to convince the jury that Michael's a credible person.

I just find that a very hard thing to do, knowing the history of this guy.

PHILLIP: Yes, it is very interesting that the prosecution is spending some time cleaning up Michael Cohen's reputation on the issue of the theft. But the defense didn't spend a ton of time on that.

And we've had a number of experts and jury consultants on here earlier suggesting that Todd Blanche's closing argument was a little scattershot.

And sometimes the implication of that is that that might be what his client wants. Donald Trump might want him to address all of those little things to deny that the Stormy Daniels affair happened, to deny that these payments were -- were reimbursements.


Do you think that Todd Blanche was effective or was he a little bit to here, there and everywhere, when it came to summing this up for the jury?

LANZA: Yes, it's like the experts are what the experts are. But at the end of the day, it varies, in my view, for the juries to understand it's very easy case.

And it goes to the credibility of Cohen. It doesn't go to whether an affair took place. It doesn't go to whether the paperwork was filed with respect to a transfer of funds.

It goes to whether Michael Cohen has the credibility, that the jury feels that he has the credibility to make the statement that the president was involved in this conspiracy to commit this crime.

And they can say all these other things, but that's how you narrow it down. And it's just hard to see how anybody, at this point, can give that. In fact, the past two weeks have shown that you can trust Michael less.

And the more they try to clean it up, the more they try to shine this up, it's just the more and more he looks less and less credible.

I mean, I was talking to one of your colleagues on the TV the other day, is this almost actually now feels like election interference. Because you did - you're putting so much on Michael Cohen, who none of us would trust.

Why else would you bring this forward, unless you'd want to try to slimy up the president before an election with some fake prosecution, which this is what it's starting to feel like, if you're dependent on believing Michael Cohen.

PHILLIP: All right, Bryan Lanza, thank you very much for that perspective.

The developments in this -- the closing arguments from the prosecution, they are coming in fast from that courthouse in Manhattan. We're following it moment by moment.

We're going to squeeze in a quick break here. Our coverage of the closing arguments will be back after this quick break.



BLITZER: Welcome back to our special CNN live coverage of closing arguments in the Trump hush money trial.

The developments are certainly coming in very fast right now. During the commercial break, indeed, the prosecutor suggested that if Michael Cohen was lying, he could have gone much further in tying Trump to alleged illegality.

Adding, and I'm quoting him now, "We didn't choose Michael Cohen to be our witness. We didn't pick him up at the witness store."

Our panel of experts are here with me to assess.

What do you make that, Laura?

COATES: It's an important point. Because it's suggesting to the jury, listen, we have our witnesses as we found them. We are not trying to persuade them to tell a story that is in our liking or within our particular jigsaw puzzle to make the picture clearer. This is who he was.

And you know what? Frankly, most crimes are not committed by -- or let me say, any crimes committed by a witness, by a bus full of nuns. This is who they had, Michael Cohen, and this is the person they have in this instance.

BLITZER: And the prosecutor, Joshua Steinglass, is saying they didn't pick -- they did pick Michael Cohen to be the star witness. COATES: Yes.

BLITZER: It just emerged because of all the things that he was doing involved in as the so-called fixer for Donald Trump.

COATES: They said Mr. Trump chose Mr. Cohen for the same qualities that his attorneys now urge you to reject his testimony because of it.

An important point, they want to have it both ways. They want to suggest, on the one hand, you cannot believe anything this person says. He is a liar, he is a thief, worse.

But on the other hand, don't believe him, because if he's telling you the truth, it makes our client look bad. It cannot be the same. They had to have picked one.

They also talked about Bob Costello. Remember, he was somebody who many people thought was quizzical to have the defense call because they ended on Michael Cohen. The jury could have had that impression in their minds, thinking about Bob Costello, who he called a double agent working to somehow silence Michael Cohen.

And argued there's plenty of evidence in the long run to corroborate Cohen's story, which they tried to do beforehand.

CORNISH: Only by, one, there's been this reframing of each of these defendants, right -- each of these witnesses. I'm sorry. Whether it'd be Stormy Daniels or Michael Cohen, it's been the prosecutor's opportunity to say, look, they may have told you to view them this way, but there's another way to see this and it's the most obvious.

That's sort of the theme I'm seeing in each of the descriptions.

BLITZER: As Steinglass says, in this case, there's literally a mountain of evidence corroborating testimony that tens --

HONIG: To backup Michael Cohen.


WILLIAMS: This is an important point. And we talked about this before the last break, this idea that the defense swung really hard in stating an absolute, that there is no evidence establishing whether it was Donald Trump's knowledge or certain aspects of the conspiracy or so on.

What they're doing here is saying that, no, perhaps you could not convict a defendant solely on the basis of Michael Cohen's testimony alone. But there's plenty of evidence in the record, in the form of all sorts of documents and checks --


BLITZER: On that point

WILLIAMS: -- and other witnesses. BLITZER: -- saying it's difficult to conceive of the case with more corroboration than this one.

WILLIAMS: Which is a key part of their case. And Laura used the term pre-corroboration a little bit earlier.

And it's, in effect, prior to bringing Michael Cohen onto the stand, if you remember, they had a series of witnesses, including Stormy Daniels, and including the banker, Gary Farro, who had worked with Cohen to set up what Cohen was going to say.

Now, Cohen, when he took the stand, all of his credibility issues we're brought in front of a jury, but they'd already laid out --


DAVID CHALIAN, CNN POLITICAL DIRECTOR: But, Elliott, doesn't Michael Cohen hold the keys to intent, like that all that other evidence that is corroborating doesn't get to the intent piece or no?

HONIG: No, so I think you're exactly right. So a lot of this is standard prosecutorial fair. And I mean that in a good way. There's a reason we all did it and do it right?

I'm saying, first of all, we didn't choose Michael Cohen. The defendant chose him. That is said in virtually every case where the cooperating witness. But it's effective. It rings true. It makes sense. I think you sometimes get nods out of the jury.


The thing with Michael Cohen and, right now, Steinglass is trying to bridge this gap. He's trying to say he's corroborated a mountain of evidence. Everywhere you look, he's backed up. They're going to get into the checks and the ledgers and the handwritten notes, I'm sure, very soon.

But there is an unavoidable gap that you have to be able to take Michael Cohen at his word if you're going to convict. Ultimately, the checks, the ledger show that there was a plan happening within the accounting department. There we're meetings.

But as to what was said to Donald Trump and what Donald Trump said back showing his key knowledge and intent, you have to take Michael Cohens word for that. There's no corroboration for that. But it helps. It helps to prop him up to show all this other currently.


COATES: And what don't have in this -- I mean, I don't know if I'm able to go to my tablet or not with this. If I can, I'll let you know.

But there was a moment in time when, to go your point, David, you have to go back to this important meeting, the one involving Weisselberg and Michael Cohen, and whether Hope Hicks or not was there in the discussion. Remember David pecker, the first one to advocate saying that he wanted

to be the eyes and ears. And then he would be able to then catch and kill stories. While Allen Weisselberg then takes a conversation, creates as $180,000, plus the $50,000, all leading up to the $420,000 amount.

That's important here because, as the prosecution has just said, that this is -- Michael Cohen's significance in this case is that he provides context and color to the documents, the phone records.

He is like, this important, a tour guide through the physical evidence. But those documents don't lie and they don't forget. So they're referring back this moment. Again, this is about 34 falsified business records.

Now, what we're not hearing about is the prosecution perhaps answering a question that might be on the minds of jurors, which is, where is Alan Weisselberg? What about him? What about what he could have said in this instance?

WILLIAMS: To the --


BLITZER: That's a fair question. Why wasn't he called to testify?

WILLIAMS: To the leap-of-faith point that Elie had made that sort of -- that prosecutors are asked or they're asking the jury to essentially set aside Michael Cohen's creditability issues.

I would be curious if the prosecution uses the words "common sense" at any point here. and saying, ladies and gentlemen, Michael Cohen's got credibility issues, but trust your gut here.

And, number one, look at what you know about the defendant based on evidence that is put out here. Number two, the practices of the Trump Organization, habits that were engaged in by everyone here. Oh, and by the way, also the testimony of this witness.

If you regard it together, you can get to a conviction now. But certainly they've got a big jump there. And he's got creditability issues.

HONIG: Common sense is allowed and encouraged. And both parties --


HONIG: -- always want to be the party of common sense. You try to say it as much as you can for that reason.

BLITZER: Yes, Steinglass, the prosecutor, says the 2015 Trump Tower meeting with Pecker, Trump and Cohen is the prism through which the jury should look at this case.

CHALIAN: Laura anticipated that.


COATES: But still, right, then it comes to the falsified business records. And that's the part that they've got to get into. Because it's one thing to have the chronology, which is good to go there now, because now they're essentially saying to us, we have disposed of the arguments by the defense about the credibility of Michael Cohen, and now let me begin at the beginning, as we say, a very good place to start.

BLITZER: Everyone standby. We have a lot more coming up.

Right now, I want to go to Erin Burnett, who is picking up our coverage in New York.


ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: All right, Wolf.

And Paula and Kirsten are here.

And it's great to be joined with you guys to come up here.

What we were just talking about as -- as Elie was talking and Laura, Kirsten, was Michael Cohen. And now the prosecutor -- the defense -- the prosecution -- I'm sorry -- it's been over an hour.

HOLMES: Right.

BURNETT: What you say, kind of clean up on Michael Cohen. That's a long time.

HOLMES: That's -- there's a lot to clean up there. I mean, part of the issue though, it is showing that the prosecution feels as though there is a number of things that they need to go through with the jury after Michael Cohen's testimony after his cross-examination to clean up, to clear up.

But also, it goes to show that perhaps they believe that some of what the defense tried to do actually worked, which was undermine Michael Cohen as a witness, to point out the fact that he was a liar.

You see, over and over again, Steinglass say, we know that he has lied in the past. We know that he has done these various shady dealings in the past. But this time, it's different.


HOLMES: And it gives you some sort of indication of the witness that they know that they have. And also, again, what they think the defense might have accomplished when they we're doing their own cross- examination.

BURNETT: Paula, in terms of the time here, though. I know, many have said, look, the defense, they took a long time.

REID: Yes. BURNETT: Now, you've got four hours for the prosecution. I'm just trying to imagine sitting there in that jury box for that long.

REID: Yes, I feel -- I feel badly for the jury. And that's probably too long. Two-and-a-half hours for Todd Blanche. That felt like it really went on and on. And this is going to go almost, almost twice as long.

And we've seen they've taken about an hour, as Kristen noted, of their time with Michael Cohen. And that's right.

Look, no prosecutor in their right mind would choose Michael Cohen at the witness store that they've described. They called him because they have to call him.

And while they've said he's merely a tour guide to walk you through the physical evidence, the fact is that Michael Cohen's testimony is some of the only direct evidence linking the defendant to the falsified business records.


So they had to spend that time to clean up. Because their case does depend on the jurors trusting Michael Cohen.

BURNETT: One thing that's interesting, when they we're trying to clean up the check about Michael Cohen, I don't want -- I don't want to say the exact words, but the concept that Steinglass was saying was, you can criticize them all you want from making money off of Trump now, but that's the one thing that he has.

REID: Yes.

BURNETT: Basically, trying to -- it felt like reading it -- encouraged the jury to put themselves in Michael Cohen shoes and say, what would you do? And the question is whether that sort of thing will be effective.

HOLMES: Well, exactly. And I think what we saw the defense do was try to say Michael Cohen will spin whatever story is best for Michael Cohen at that time.

And what you're seeing from the prosecution is to walk back and say, no, this is the only story that Michael Cohen has now.

And one of the things that they said -- and I'm paraphrasing here -- was that this man had done Donald Trump's bidding for years and years. And then one day was dropped like a hot potato.

And Donald Trump tweeted out that he was a scumbag for the entire world to see. And that left Michael Cohen on an island.

And that's the way they're trying to separate Michael Cohen from the past, somebody who admittedly lied multiple times in defense of Donald Trump, but also in defense of himself to protect himself, to protect his family or protect him with his family. And then also didn't lie at various points. Now they're trying to say,

well, this is different because he was left out on an island and this was survival, and he's telling the truth now.

BURNETT: It is interesting though, coming into this, we we're told, Michael Cohen had said, but also it had been very clear from the prosecution, that they were -- Michael Cohen was crucial, but that they would prove it without him. And, as Elie was saying, they didn't do that.

REID: No. You really can't do it. One thing that Trump is really good about is not leaving a paper trail, which this is why it's sort of ironic that we're here for what is effectively a paperwork crime, falsifying business records.

Without that paper trail it's very difficult to prove a case like this beyond a reasonable doubt. You need first-hand accounts. And Michael Cohen is the only one we had.

Allen Weisselberg, former CFO of the Trump Organization, is currently in Rikers. He could have also provided that, but prosecutors chose, for a variety of reasons, not to call them.

So Michael Cohen, he's all you've got to provide that direct link to the (INAUDIBLE).

BURNETT: What about that though? Allen Weisselberg, obviously, he's serving time in prison. They didn't call him.

He could have either made the case, slam dunk, black and white, or ended it, or they would say maybe he would lie or who knows?

HOLMES: I think the prosecution believed he wouldn't be a good witness. He'd plead the Fifth and you can't bring a witness who you know is going to plead the Fifth.

Because we've seen how he's testified --


HOLMES: -- in the past.

I think the other part of this Allen Weisselberg thing, which is something now the prosecution has to essentially defend, because it's their burden to prove. And if my Allen Weisselberg could prove it, why isn't he there?

The other person that they didn't call was Keith Schiller. And you have a moment, a critical moment in which she could -- could have said yes or no about this call. Was this all about the prankster or --


BURNETT: -- Michael Cohen called --

HOLMES: Exactly. BURNETT: But then he put Trump on.

HOLMES: And he talked about Daniels --


HOLMES: And we even have the video or at least the stills that were entered into court of Schiller and Trump walking off, right before the call was made, indicating that they we're together.

But then you have this kind of missing time frame of what actually happened in the call. They didn't call Keith Schiller, another person who could have corroborated Michael Cohen story.


HOLMES: We don't know exactly why, but we do know that Keith Schiller is still --


HOLMES: -- to the former president. But again, it is not on the defense to call those it's witnessed. It is on the prosecution.

REID: It was interesting the Blanche didn't make more of this. We knew from our reporting that he was going to bring up the missing witnesses.

I'm surprised he didn't hammer a little harder on those because the defense's theory is that neither one of these witnesses was called because prosecutors worried that it would contradict their story.

It's surprising to me, given all the other things that Blanche spent time on, including Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, that he didn't focus on that.

BURNETT: I want to ask you one other thing that happened here. This was Judge Merchan admonishing Blanche for mentioning prison time to the jurors.

Now obviously, there has been discussions that wouldn't necessarily, if one were convicted in this case as a first-time defendant, in Trump's case. obviously, maybe likely would not have prison time. But he brought it up and was admonished, obviously, by Judge Merchan.

So can you explain, Paula, first, why those comments were so controversial? Why bringing that up is even an issue?

REID: So sentencing is not something for the jury. That is for the judge. That's why that was considered third rail. That's why that got a arise out of the judge. And why he had to offer that curative instruction.

BURNETT: But does it matter? I guess he's saying, for them to know, what could be the repercussion of their decision, I would presume was the context in which Blanche -- (CROSSTALK)

REID: Exactly, yes.

BURNETT: But that's not OK?

REID: He wanted them to think about this. Do you want to put someone in prison based on the words of Michael Cohen? That was the idea. He probably knew that was not appropriate for closings, that that would get some pushback. It did. And the judge chose to give a curative instruction.

But it's not like the jury didn't hear it and it didn't register.

BURNETT: Sure. And today, you had, in the courtroom, through all of this, everybody, except for Ivanka, Jared and Melania.

HOLMES: The whole family.

So I would put these in two separate categories. The Ivanka and Jared of it and the Melania of it.



HOLMES: We did not ever think that Melania Trump was going to show up. This humiliated her at the time. She is not a "stand by your man" kind of person. And she was never going to come to court and say, oh, yes, of course, he did this to protect me.

That is not who Melania Trump is. And that is not the relationship she has with her former -- with her husband.