Michael Cohen is taking the stand Monday in the Trump hush money trial; what you need to know

One of the most bitter political feuds in the nation is expected to culminate in a Manhattan courtroom Monday with a showdown years in the making when Michael Cohen takes the stand at Donald Trump’s historic hush money trial.

Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer — whose payoff to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election is now at the center of the first criminal trial of an American president — is slated to take the stand next, two sources confirmed to the New York Daily News.

He’s expected to tell jurors about the deal he negotiated to buy the adult film star’s silence about her extramarital tryst with his boss in a Lake Tahoe hotel room and being reimbursed by Trump after winning the White House.

The $130,000 hush money payment saw the longtime Trump loyalist, 57, become a felon and lose his law license after pleading guilty in 2018 to breaking federal campaign finance laws, lying to Congress about Trump’s business dealings with Russia and other crimes.

Cohen split his three-year sentence between FCI Otisville in upstate New York and in an ankle bracelet at his Trump Park Ave condominium, and wound up back behind bars when he refused not to write a book about Trump while under house arrest.

In the Manhattan case now underway, Trump, 77, is accused of 34 felony counts of falsification of business records, which allege he covered up reimbursement to Cohen in 2017 by logging a series of monthly checks as payment for legal fees.

Trump’s defense team has argued that an “obsessed” Cohen went rogue in paying off the adult film star and that Trump mindlessly signed what was put in front of him, believing it covered his personal lawyer’s retainer fee, while he was busy running the country.

“A very good bookkeeper marked a legal expense as a legal expense,” Trump said on his way out of court on Friday, adding Cohen “was a lawyer, not a fixer.”

Helping the DA

The fixer is openly cooperating against Trump in the Manhattan DA’s case, meeting more than a dozen times with investigators over a yearslong period starting when he was in prison.

Following his conviction, Cohen, 57, came out swinging against his longtime boss, blasting the criminality he’d witnessed as his henchman in testimony before Congress that was watched worldwide.

Those disclosures led to the New York attorney general’s civil fraud case against Trump and his top company executives, which resulted last February in multiple liability findings and almost half a billion dollars in fines following a three-month trial at which Trump stormed out with his Secret Service entourage while Cohen was on the stand,.

He won’t be able to do that in a criminal courtroom.

The jury in the hush money case is set to meet Trump’s one-time bulldog and now disbarred attorney after hearing testimony from 17 witnesses, who shed light on the alleged conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the election Trump won by hiding unflattering information about his past from the U.S. electorate and the inner workings of his real estate empire’s bookkeeping department and White House administration.

He has yet to step foot in the courtroom, but Cohen’s presence has been omnipresent since the case was on trial. Jurors have heard audio recordings of him negotiating a hush money deal with Daniels’ lawyer in the waning days of the 2016 race and appearing to discuss a payoff to Playboy model Karen McDougal with Trump.

A cross-examination for the ages

Cohen is slated to face a cross-examination for the ages when Trump’s lawyers meet with him in the witness box, who are expected to hammer him on his history of lies and acerbic jabs targeting Trump on social media and his podcast, in his books and on countless cable TV appearances.

On Friday, the jury saw extensive phone records showing Trump and Cohen were constantly on the phone to one another in the years of the alleged scheme.

Jurors also saw Twitter posts made by then-President Trump in 2018, in which he described the nondisclosure agreement his lawyer obtained from Daniels as “a harmless contract between two parties” unrelated to his presidential campaign, and tweets praising his lawyer after the feds raided his residences as “a fine person with a wonderful family,” who he had “always liked & respected,” and who would never flip.

In a tweet months later also shown to the jury, after Cohen pleaded guilty to doing Trump’s dirty work, the then-president took a different tone.

“If anyone is looking for a good lawyer, I would strongly suggest you don’t retain the services of Michael Cohen!”

Cohen declined to comment when reached by The News.