Trump trial: Judge rebukes Michael Cohen ahead of expected testimony Monday

Former President Trump was in court on Day 15 of his criminal 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 in connection with 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, exiting court, slams judge over Cohen remarks

Former President Trump, on his way out of the courtroom at the end of the day's proceedings, assailed Judge Juan Merchan for declining to gag upcoming witness Michael Cohen for remarks he's been making about Trump and the case on social media.

"There is no gag order to Michael Cohen. What the judge did was amazing, actually was amazing," Trump said of Merchan telling prosecutors to ask Cohen to stop making comments.

"Everybody can say whatever they want. They can say whatever they want. I'm not allowed to say anything about anybody," Trump said.

Trump also reiterated that his repayments to Cohen for Stormy Daniels' hush payment were properly recorded in his company's ledger. Prosecutors have said the repayments were unlawfully marked as a "legal expense" to conceal their true nature.

"I didn't do the bookkeeping. I didn't even know about it, but a very good bookkeeper marked a legal expense down as a legal expense," Trump said. "They didn't call it construction. They didn't call it building something or concrete or electrical cost. They called it, very simply, a legal expense to a lawyer -- who's a lawyer, not a fixer -- he's a lawyer."

"A legal expense to a lawyer," Trump repeated.

-ABC News' Kelsey Walsh and Mike Pappano

Judge rebukes Cohen ahead of Monday's expected testimony

Judge Merchan communicated a bit of a warning to Michael Cohen ahead of his planned testimony next week, telling prosecutors to ask him to stop talking about the case after Trump's team brought up his continued out-of-court statements.

"I would direct the people to communicate to Mr. Cohen that the judge is asking him to refrain from making any more statements about this case," Merchan said.

"That comes from the bench and you are communicating that on behalf of the bench," said the judge.

Merchan's rebuke came after defense attorney Todd Blanche brought up recent statements by Cohen, including his appearing on TikTok this week wearing a shirt with a photo of Trump behind bars.

"It's becoming a problem every single day that President Trump is not allowed to respond to this witness," Blanche urged. "He has stated on social media that he is going to stop talking, and he doesn't," Blanche said of Cohen.

Prosecutors said they had already "repeatedly" asked Cohen and others not to post about the case, but claimed they had no control over the witnesses.

Trump, at the defense table, grinned broadly during the exchange regarding Cohen and his behavior on social media. But he shook his head and looked at Blanche, seemingly in disbelief, when Merchan -- instead of ordering Cohen to stop -- merely asked prosecutors to speak to him.

Court was subsequently adjourned for the week.

Judge suggests Weisselberg could testify

With the jury out of the courtroom, defense lawyer Emil Bove argued that Judge Merchan should not allow former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg's severance agreement with the company to get into evidence.

Weisselberg, who is currently serving a five-month sentence on New York's Rikers Island for committing perjury during Trump's civil fraud trial, he received a $2 million severance agreement from the Trump Organization.

Prosecutor Christopher Conroy argued the separation agreement "offers a real explanation for why he is not going to be here in this trial."

"We just respectfully disagree with that," Bove responded, saying Weisselberg is not testifying because the district attorney's office pursued a perjury case against him.

Judge Merchan did not issue a ruling on the matter but suggested the parties might have "jumped the gun" by suggesting Weisselberg can't testify "without making an effort to get him here."

As an alternative, Merchan suggested that Weisselberg could testify outside the presence of the jury before determining the appropriate next step.

Prosecutors could rest their case by end of next week

Prosecutor Joshua Steinglass indicted that the state's case could be headed into the home stretch.

"We expect to call potentially two witnesses" next week, Steinglass told Judge Merchan, saying it is "entirely possible" the state rests their case by the end of next week.

That will be followed by the presentation of the defense's case, then a prosecution rebuttal.

In another sign of how quickly the case is moving along, Merchan also invited the parties to begin submitting suggestions for the jury charge -- the instructions on the law delivered by the judge before the jury begins deliberating.