‘The truth does not benefit Donald’: Michael Cohen testifies in lawsuit against Trump

Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen reportedly testified for four hours against his former boss, who allegedly lied under oath and ordered security guards to “get rid” of protesters in 2015.

The ex-president’s former “fixer” was deposed as part of a lawsuit stemming from allegations that Trump Organization security guards outside then-candidate Trump’s building on Fifth Avenue attacked demonstrators protesting his derogatory remarks about Mexicans.

Mr Cohen claims that Mr Trump ordered guards to attack protesters, which his company has denied.

“They asked me a series of questions and I answered them honestly and truthfully,” Mr Cohen told NBC News outside law offices across from Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal on 9 May. “The truth does not benefit Donald.”

Protesters have sued Mr Trump and his company for damages for what they have alleged are “wanton and malicious assaults and batteries” by his security team. The former president has testified that he did not know about bodyguard Keith Schiller’s altercation with protesters, according to partially released testimony under oath included in a court filing.

A civil trial is scheduled for 22 June. Jurors in The Bronx will watch video of the incident as well as video testimony from both Mr Cohen and Mr Trump, who taped his deposition in October.

“He said, ‘Get rid of them!’ according to Mr Cohen. “I’m shocked he let this case go as far as it did.”

According to a partial transcript from Mr Trump’s deposition, he was asked about his 2016 campaign trail remarks to “knock the crap” out of people who might look as if they are throwing a tomato.

“Oh yeah. It was very dangerous,” he said, adding that his team has been “threatened.”

“They were going to throw fruit,” he said. “We were told. I thought Secret Service was involved in that, actually. But we were told. And you get hit with fruit, it’s – no, it’s very violent stuff. We were on alert for that.”

He remarks during an Iowa rally to “knock the crap out of” protesters “was said sort of in jest,” he said.

“I wanted to have people be ready because we were put on alert that they were going to do fruit. And some fruit is a lot worse than – tomatoes are bad, by the way. But it’s very dangerous,” he said.

Mr Trump’s attorney Alina Habba told reporters on Monday that there have “been enough courts that have spoken on his credibility.”

“I think it’s ironic he’s come out of the woodwork a couple of weeks before trial,” she said. “And the truth will come out. I actually look forward to spending a few hours questioning Mr Cohen.”