Ex-Prosecutor Spots Trump Attorney's 'Rookie Mistakes' That May Cost Him

Former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade over the weekend called into question certain ways in which Donald Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche is defending the former president in his hush money trial.

MSNBC’s Katie Phang suggested Blanche had failed to land any devastating legal blows during a mammoth cross-examination of Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen that has lasted for more than seven hours.

“It seems that Todd Blanche has partaken in what I call rookie mistakes,” said McQuade, a former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan who is now a University of Michigan law professor.

Those mistakes were “going on too long, not having a specific plan and asking one question too many,” she explained.

The “strategy of an effective cross-examination,” said McQuade, is to “pick out a few key areas of impeachment, contradiction or getting the witness to agree with helpful points and be laser-focused on those things so that the jury can follow along.”

Trump allegedly falsified business records to cover up a payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election. With the money, Trump allegedly sought Daniels’ silence over an alleged 2006 sexual encounter between the pair. Trump denies the claims. Cohen was imprisoned for his role in the scheme and is now a vocal critic of his onetime boss.

Blanche may have been “trying to exhaust” Cohen, McQuade acknowledged.

But she doubted it would prompt any change of tact from Cohen, whom Blanche tried to depict as a liar with a desire for revenge against Trump.

Trump’s legal representative “seems to be going on and on and trying to get Michael Cohen to admit to lies,” she said. “Just point out the contradiction and then you can use it yourself.”

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