Opening statements begin in hush money criminal case

 Donald Trump appears in court for opening statements. Donald Trump appears in court for opening statements.

The prosecution offered a series of evidence that, Colangelo says, prove that Trump falsified business records. (Yuki Iwamura/Getty Images, Pool)

Prosecutor Colangelo mused during his opening statement that the Trump Organization couldn’t exactly write a check to Trump’s ex-attorney Michael Cohen with the memo line reading: “Reimbursement for porn star payoff.”

So they agreed to cook the books,” he said, according to MSNBC’s Katie Phang.

Colangelo went on to describe a series of evidence the prosecution will present to prove that argument.

According to CNN, Colangelo explained that Trump didn’t want to write the $130,000 hush money check to Stormy Daniels himself, so he asked Cohen and Allen Weisselberg to “figure out some other way” to make the payment.

Colangelo argued that Trump’s team attempted to make Cohen’s reimbursement appear as if it were services rendered.

“Before putting up his own money Cohen confirmed with Trump that Trump would pay him back,” he said, according to CNN. He added that Cohen agreed to use his own money to make the payment in efforts to “keep Stormy Daniels quiet.”

Cohen did so at Trump’s request and with the understanding that Trump would pay him back at a later date, the prosecution said.

Colangelo also acknowledged that Trump submitted fake invoices for reimbursement, Phang pointed out.

“Trump’s accounting staff at Trump Tower processed every one of those fake invoices and recorded them in their ledgers falsely as legal services payments,” Phang said of Colangelo’s remarks.

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