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John Dean: Hush money case against Trump ‘very powerful’

John Dean, former President Nixon’s White House counsel, said in a Saturday interview that the New York hush money criminal trial against former President Trump is “very powerful” ahead of highly anticipated testimony this week from Trump’s ex-fixer Michael Cohen.

Dean said in a CNN interview that he has read the transcripts from the trial and thinks the prosecution has laid out a compelling case that can stand alone, independent from Cohen’s testimony.

“It’s a very powerful case the government has put on in New York,” he said. “They have really filled in so many of the blanks, and they have built such a structure that Michael Cohen can come in and testify.”

“And he’s largely corroborated already, with either other witnesses, who have who don’t necessarily have an axe to grind, as well as documents,”  Dean continued. “So they have laid a real foundation for this coming week.”

Dean’s remarks come as Trump’s former personal attorney came face-to-face once again with the ex-president in a Manhattan courtroom Monday.

Cohen, taking the stand in Trump’s hush money case, is the prosecution’s star witness in a case that charges Trump with falsifying 34 business records over a $130,000 hush money payment Cohen sent a porn actress to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with the then-2016 candidate.

A consistent effort has been underway to paint Cohen as an unreliable witness, since Cohen has indicated he wants to see Trump behind bars. But Dean said he still expects Cohen to be a strong witness.

On whether Cohen’s testimony could be undercut by his grudge against Trump, Dean said, “Well, that’s going to be up to the jury, obviously, and different people will take it in different ways. The fact that there is a grudge match going on here, doesn’t mean the jury won’t believe him.”

“It will put the burden a little bit higher on him to be persuasive. But I’ve watched Michael testify in front of the House committee several years ago. He was very good as a witness. They tried to impeach him then the Trump supporters on the panel, and they didn’t do very well. He handled himself well. He has a charisma about him,” he continued.

“I think he’s being very brave in what he’s doing, and people will recognize that. It’s not easy to take on the Trump team and particularly when it’s a campaign going as well,” Dean added.

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