Donald J. Trump’s defense lawyer had waited a day and a half for this moment, to rise and begin the cross-examination of the prosecution’s star witness. Right out of the gate, he tried to set the tone for how the proceedings would unfold.

Did you, Todd Blanche asked Michael D. Cohen, go on TikTok and call me a “crying little shit?”

Soon afterward, there was a sidebar, out of earshot of jurors. According to a transcript, Justice Juan M. Merchan asked Mr. Blanche, “Why are you making…

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