Faces cross examination from Trump lawyers in New York criminal trial

FILE - People lay hands in prayer on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, right, as attorney Michael Cohen looks on during a visit to the Pastors Leadership Conference at New Spirit Revival Center, Sept. 21, 2016, in Cleveland. Cohen is prosecutors’ most central witness in former President Trump's hush money trial. But Trump’s fixer-turned-foe is also as challenging a star witness as they come. The now-disbarred lawyer has a tortured history with Trump. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

The defense kicked off questioning of Michael Cohen on Thursday by asking him about text messages between him and Jeremy Rosenberg, a now-retired detective with the Manhattan district attorney’s office who collected his cell phones as part of the probe into former President Donald Trump.

Cohen reviewed the text messages from a monitor inside the courtroom.

Prosecutor Susan Hoffinger stepped in to ask if the “swaths” of redactions make the texts out of context. Cohen responded, “I believe so.”

Hoffinger objected to the messages being brought into evidence. Judge Juan Merchan sustained the objection after a discussion with both parties.

Under questioning from Trump lawyer Todd Blanche, Cohen confirmed the messages were sent around the time he testified before the grand jury last year.

Regarding one message, Blanche asked if Rosenberg told Cohen “it was done” meaning Trump was indicted. Cohen said Rosenberg identified a newspaper article.

Cohen twice denied that Rosenberg told him about the Trump indictment before it was unsealed. Cohen maintains that he learned of Trump’s indictment from the NYT article.

Cohen said he did not recall hearing from Rosenberg before the indictment was unsealed.