In recent days, former President Donald Trump’s defense team has conducted an aggressive cross-examination of Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, in the high-profile hush money trial. Cohen, being the prosecution’s key witness, is seen as crucial to the case. The exchanges in the courtroom have been intense, with Cohen providing detailed testimony about his involvement in the alleged payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election—a payment he asserted was directed by Trump.

During Monday and Tuesday’s proceedings, Cohen depicted a narrative of a $130,000 payment intended to silence Daniels regarding her alleged affair with Trump, ostensibly to avoid any harm to Trump’s presidential campaign. However, the defense has presented a contrasting portrayal, suggesting that Cohen, driven by personal grievances and financial incentives from his media appearances, is an unreliable witness.

However, statements made by Cohen’s former attorney, Robert Costello, during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, have cast significant doubt on Cohen’s testimony. During questioning by Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), Costello claimed that Cohen had confided in him that he didn’t actually believe Daniels’ allegations. Instead, Cohen allegedly chose to address the matter to prevent any embarrassment it could cause Trump and his family, particularly Melania Trump.

“I read Michael Cohen’s testimony from yesterday’s trial in New York on the way down on the train, and virtually every statement he made about me is another lie,” Costello told the panel.

During Wednesday’s session, Costello detailed his past conversation with Cohen, quoting him as saying, “‘I got a call from a lawyer representing Stormy Daniels, who represented that she was going to testify that Donald Trump had sex with Stormy Daniels.’ Michael Cohen said, ‘I didn’t believe the allegation, but I knew that such an allegation would be terribly embarrassing.’”

Moreover, Costello challenged Cohen’s claim of Trump’s direct involvement in the payment: “Did Donald Trump have anything to do with it? No. Did you get the money from Donald Trump? No. From any of his organizations? No. From anybody connected to Donald Trump? No.” He clarified that Cohen used a home equity line of credit to finance the payment, keeping the transaction private from his family and the public, indicating Cohen’s independent decision-making.

Costello advised Cohen to present any incriminating information about Trump to the U.S. attorney’s office in New York as it might help him avoid imprisonment. However, Cohen responded that he possessed no such evidence against Trump.

“I swear to God, Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump. … I don’t have anything on Donald Trump,” Costello recalled Cohen saying.


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