Trump appears to fall asleep with his mouth open minutes into Michael Cohen’s testy cross-examination

With a permanent scowl, Donald Trump kept his eyes closed and let his mouth drop open while his attorneys grilled his former attorney Michael Cohen during his hush money trial in Manhattan.

Cohen, expected to be the final witness for the prosecution, has spent more than seven hours across two days on the witness stand directly tying the former president to a scheme to cover up payments to an adult film star before the 2016 presidential election.

But moments after his attorney Todd Blanche opened cross examination after a lunch recess on Tuesday, Mr Trump sunk back into his chair and closed his eyes.

His head then dropped slightly with his mouth open before snapping awake and jerking his head to the left or right while his eyes remained shut.

Mr Blanche immediately targeted Cohen about his news interviews and social media posts about the trial and his public criticism of the former president – as well as his comments about Mr Blanche and Mr Trump’s other attorneys.

“Do you remember going on TikTok and calling me a crying little s***?” Mr Blanche asked.

Cohen appeared unfazed: “Sounds like something I would say.”

Mr Blanche also asked Cohen whether he remembered calling Mr Trump a “dictator douchebag”.

“Sounds like something I would say,” he said again.

Last week, New York Justice Juan Merchan had urged prosecutors to instruct Cohen to stop talking about the case and about Mr Trump, after his attorneys complained that he continues to “speak publicly” even as his testimony was imminent – including in a TikTok video where he is wearing a T-shirt with a picture of Mr Trump behind bars.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office told him that it is “probably better off if you don’t speak about” the case, Cohen testified on Tuesday.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied sleeping at the courthouse, where his criminal trial is nearing the end of a fourth week of witness testimony, but he has admitted that he often keeps his eyes closed. Though he occassionally whispers to his attorneys, Mr Trump is largely unresponsive during testimony about him.

“Contrary to the FAKE NEWS MEDIA, I don’t fall asleep during the Crooked D.A.’s Witch Hunt, especially not today,” he wrote on Truth Social during a mid-day break in the trial on 2 May.

“I simply close my beautiful blue eyes, sometimes, listen intensely, and take it ALL in!!!” he added.

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