Michael Cohen escalates Twitter war with new Trump nickname ahead of trial testimony

Donald Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen has escalated his social media war with the former president, handing him an unflattering nickname ahead of his testimony in the hush money trial.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Monday, Cohen called Mr Trump “Von S***zInPantz” and claimed he “stinks of desperation”.

“Hey Von S***zInPantz…your attacks of me stink of desperation. We are all hoping that you take the stand in your defense,” Cohen posted, alongside a photo of Mr Trump sitting at the defence table in Manhattan criminal court.

Earlier on Monday, Cohen also posted on X: “As the trial begins, Donald von S***zInPantz better stock up on Imodium and Gas-X,” referring to claims from Meidas Touch Network’s Ben Meiselas citing “credible” sources who told him that Mr Trump was “farting” in court.

Cohen has previoulsy used that nickname to lash out at his former close ally and client in his podcast.

The remark comes as Mr Trump has repeatedly bashed Cohen’s credibility ahead of his looming testimony in the the historic hush money trial, which has now entered its second week.

As recently as Monday, the former president fumed about his former ally-turned-nemesis: “The things he got in trouble for were things that had nothing to do with me. He got in trouble. He went to jail. This has nothing to do with me.”

The attacks on Cohen could be a violation of a gag order imposed against Mr Trump, since Cohen is a witness in the case.

Judge Juan Merchan held a hearing on Tuesday morning over the potential violations of the gag order, and is expected to rule on the matter at a later date.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said his office plans to file another motion on Tuesday arguing another gag order violation, after Mr Trump attacked Cohen during one of his “daily conducted press conferences on his way into and out of this courtroom” on Monday – which the state claims again “violated the gag order on camera”.

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump at an event in Ohio on 21 September 2016 (REUTERS)
Michael Cohen and Donald Trump at an event in Ohio on 21 September 2016 (REUTERS)

Cohen is considered a star witness in the landmark case — the first in US history to have a former president stand trial.

Mr Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records related to so-called hush money payments given to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to cover up her alleged affair with the then-presidential candidate. The payments were labeled as legal fees.

Cohen has previously claimed that he gave Ms Daniels the $130,000 “at the direction” of Mr Trump and was then reimbursed by him.

Although the former president has denied the affair and denied any wrongdoing, Mr Trump has previously admitted to reimbursing Cohen for the payment.

The former “fixer” pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal charges related to the hush money scheme. He was sentenced to three years in prison — most of which he spent in home confinement. Cohen sought an early end to his supervised release, but last month, a judge rejected it, suggesting that the former attorney had committed perjury. His supervised release is set to end in November.

Michael Cohen stands behind Donald Trump at an event in Ohio on 21 September 2016 while the latter was running for president (REUTERS)
Michael Cohen stands behind Donald Trump at an event in Ohio on 21 September 2016 while the latter was running for president (REUTERS)

Also in 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress on matters unrelated to the hush money scheme.

Mr Trump and his legal team have capitalised on Cohen’s history, seeking to discredit him as a witness in the case.

In opening statements, Trump lawyer Todd Blanche told jurors that Cohen “cannot be trusted” and that his “financial livelihood depends on President Trump’s destruction”.

Cohen and Mr Trump were one-time close allies, before their friendship descended into a feud.

In 2017, Cohen once said he would take a bullet for Mr Trump.

But everything changed after his 2018 guilty plea.

When he testified before Congress in February 2019, Mr Trump’s former lawyer completely changed his tune. He called his former client a “racist”, a “con man,” and a “cheat”, adding: “I have lied, but I am not a liar. I have done bad things, but I am not a bad man. I have fixed things, but I am no longer your fixer, Mr Trump.”

On his podcasts leading up to the start of the criminal trial, Cohen has repeatedly discussed the barrage of death threats he’s received since leaving Trumpworld. He recently told MSNBC that he was “stressed” due to the former president’s tendency to attack “anyone and everyone” — including the judge’s daughter.