Lawrence O’Donnell Says Trump’s Lawyers Scored No Points in Cross-Examination: ‘Most Remarkable Version of Michael Cohen’ | Video

“What you saw on the witness stand was this broken man,” the MSNBC host says

Lawrence O’Donnell spent his Tuesday morning at a Manhattan courthouse getting an eyewitness look at Donald Trump’s hush money trial. The “Last Call” host joined MSNBC‘s Chris Hayes and Alex Wagner on “All In” that evening to share his takeaways from the former president’s embattled fixer Michael Cohen’s second day of testimony.

“Look, the simple scorecard reporting is not a single point — relevant point — was scored against Michael Cohen on cross-examination. To everyone’s surprise, the demeanor held up, because that was the suspense of [Monday] night. The suspense was, ‘Wow, that was the most remarkable version of Michael Cohen we’ve ever seen,’” O’Donnell shared. “When he’s challenged, he’s such a defensive guy, he’s such a combative guy in every other environment. But he was contained, as most people are, by the pressures and the confines of the courtroom, especially the witness stand.”

“You’ve got to remember, when lives end up in a criminal courtroom and you are the key witness for a criminal prosecution, yours is a broken life. Because you are the eyewitness to your friend’s murder, you are part of a tragedy yourself,” O’Donnell continued. “So Michael Cohen’s life was broken by all of this. What you saw on the witness stand was this broken man.”

O’Donnell’s sentiments were echoed by Rachel Maddow, who joined the panel with Hayes and Wagner to criticize the work of Trump’s lawyers. Meanwhile, O’Donnell took the time to paint a clear picture of how Cohen found himself involved in the Stormy Daniels scandal.

“I love some of what we saw from the courtroom art, the capturing of Michael Cohen’s mournful face, which is what this was,” O’Donnell continued. “This was someone mourning for his own terrible mistakes that he’s made in his life, and then describing eventually what was a family intervention to get him to turn away from what was literally his life of crime with Donald Trump and save what could be left of his life by the simple course of telling the truth to prosecutors. Doing time in prison, it turns out, is going to be a consequence of this.”

However, the host also noted that while Cohen did a good job on the stand — as opposed to Trump’s lawyers — there’s still a chance the jury might not be impressed by his approach as a former attorney.

“One thing I’d say about Michael Cohen’s pauses on answering questions, I took every one of those to actually be a smart moment,” he noted. “What he’s doing is listening to every word you’ve just said and deciding how to answer it, whether he should answer it, whether he should ask for clarification, it never felt to me like there was something weird about the pause — but it could to a jury.”

Trump’s hush money trial began April 15 in New York. The former president is accused of instructing his former lawyer Cohen to pay off Daniels, a former adult film star, to keep her quiet about their affair before covering up said payments by falsely logging them as legal fees.

Day 17 of the Trump hush money trial continued Thursday. Watch the full MSNBC segment in the video above.

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