Former legal adviser to Michael Cohen tries to discredit him in grand jury testimony



“Today, after giving all those materials to the Manhattan district attorney’s office, out of 321 e-mails they cherry-picked six e-mails to ask me about,” Costello said in a news conference following his testimony on Monday afternoon. “And of course they took them out of context. When they took them out of context, I told the grand jurors — I don’t know whether this will ultimately come to fruition or not — I told them to ask for the entire packet.”

Cohen rebutted most of Costello’s claims during an interview on MSNBC on Monday evening, denying that Costello had ever been his lawyer, that he had ever waived attorney-client privilege and that he was scheduled to appear again before the grand jury Wednesday.

“It’s a typical Donald J. Trump play out of the playbook,” Cohen said of Costello’s comments. “Figure out how you’re going to muddy the water as best as you possibly can, denigrate the person, disparage them.”

Costello also asserted that Cohen appeared distraught during a meeting they had, and was willing to do “whatever it takes” to avoid jail time.

“Well, he went to jail,” Costello said. “And now he’s on the revenge tour.”

On Monday, Costello said Cohen previously said he had not used Trump’s money to make the payment.

“The heart of it is that Michael Cohen told us that he was approached by Stormy Daniels’ lawyer and Stormy Daniels had negative information that she wanted to put in a lawsuit against Trump,” Costello said. “So Michael Cohen decided on his own — that’s what he told us, on his own — to see if he could take care of this.”

Cohen then took out a home equity loan for $130,000 to make the payment to Daniels, Costello said. But Cohen denied that contention.

“It’s absolutely not true. I don’t know what conversations he’s referring to,” Cohen said, when asked whether he had taken out a loan to make the payment. Cohen also said that Daniels intended not to sue, but to go public with the details of the alleged affair.

The expectation was that an indictment against the former president could drop as early as Monday evening. But Costello’s testimony could throw a wrench in that timeline.

“If they want to go after Donald Trump and they have solid evidence, so be it,” Costello said. “But Michael Cohen is far from solid evidence.”

Trump’s legal woes extend beyond Manhattan, however. The former president and 2024 presidential candidate is also facing criminal probes in Atlanta and Washington.



Source link: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/03/20/former-attorney-to-michael-cohen-tries-to-discredit-him-in-grand-jury-testimony-00087982

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