Trump trial: 1st week of testimony ends with testimony from Michael Cohen's former banker

Banker Gary Farro testified in Donald Trump's hush money trial in New York.

Former President Donald Trump is on trial in New York City, where he is facing felony charges related to a 2016 hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. It marks the first time in history that a former U.S. president has been tried on criminal charges.

Trump last April pleaded not guilty to a 34-count indictment charging him with falsifying business records to hide the reimbursement of a hush money payment his then-attorney Michael Cohen made to Daniels in order to boost his electoral prospects in the 2016 presidential election.


What to know about the hush money case

READ MORE: Here's what you need to know about the historic case.


Trump, leaving court, says prosecutors have 'no case'

Following a brief huddle with his attorney Todd Blanche and legal adviser Boris Epshteyn, former President Trump departed the courtroom at the conclusion of the second week of his criminal trial.

In remarks to reporters, he reiterated that there is "no case."

Court is off on Monday, so the proceedings will resume Tuesday morning.

-ABC News' Kelsey Walsh and Mike Pappano


Banker says he set up LLC, which Cohen used to pay Daniels

Banker Gary Farro testified that he got an urgent message from Michael Cohen on October 13, 2016.

According to Farro, Cohen needed to quickly create a new business named Resolution Consultants LLC.

"My understanding was it was a real estate consulting company," Farro testified.

According to prosecutors, Resolution Consultants LLC was the shell company that Cohen planned to use to pay for the exclusive rights to Karen McDougal's story in which she claimed to have had a yearlong sexual relationship with Trump.

Farro walked through the paperwork used to create the Delaware-based company, including a description, which said it was a consulting firm to offer "strategy, PR and marketing." He collected Cohen's signature and an affirmation that the company would not involve political fundraising.

"[It] would be something the bank wants to know," Farro said on the stand about political contributions, adding that it would trigger an additional review by the bank.

Farro said that while the company was established, it was never funded. Prosecutors allege that the deal that prompted the creation of the account -- paying National Enquirer parent AMI for the McDougal story -- fell through at the last minute.

A few weeks later, Farro received another phone call from Cohen on October 26, 2016.

"He stated he was changing course," Farro said. Prosecutor Becky Mangold asked if Cohen made the call seem urgent.

"Every time Michael Cohen spoke to me, he gave a sense of urgency," Farro said. "This is one of those times."

Farro testified he was busy at the time -- "I was at a golf course, very cliche for a banker" -- but a colleague handled Cohen's request for the paperwork for a new company called Essential Consultants LLC.

In the paperwork, Cohen described it as a "real estate consulting company to collect fees for investment consulting work he does for real estate deals," Farro said.

According to prosecutors, Cohen that day transferred $131,000 from a personal home equity line of credit into an account for Essential Consultants LLC.

The next day, Cohen transferred $130,000 from that account to a lawyer for Stormy Daniels, prosecutors allege.

Farro's testimony is expected to continue when court resumes on Tuesday. The proceedings have adjourned until then.


Farro says Cohen became his banking client in 2015

Gary Farro, formerly a senior managing director at First Republic Bank, testified that he first met Michael Cohen when Cohen became a banking client of his in 2015, after one of Farro's colleagues left the bank.

Asked why Cohen was assigned to him, Farro cited his "ability to handle individuals who might be a little challenging."

"Frankly, I didn't find him that difficult," Farro remarked.

First Republic Bank had a branch across the street from Trump Tower, where Cohen worked. Farro said Cohen frequently visited the bank and eagerly told him that he worked for Trump.

"He was a lawyer or is a lawyer. I am not sure," Farro said about Cohen, who was disbarred in 2019.

Prosecutors are now walking through First Republic Bank's policies for retaining documents. Prosecutors plan to use Farro as a custodial witness to authenticate records that will be used as evidence.



Prosecution calls Gary Farro as next witness

Following the conclusion of Rhona Graff's testimony, prosecutors called Gary Farro as their next witness.

Farro currently works at Flagstar Bank. He said he is testifying voluntarily, though he said he received a subpoena prior to his testimony.


news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news