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May 17, 2024 | In The News

‘Inveterate liar’: Cohen’s former lawyer accuses prosecution’s key witness of lying on stand in Trump’s New York case

Cohen paid Daniels to ‘put himself back into’ Trump’s inner circle, Costello claimed.

BLAZE — Robert Costello, Michael Cohen’s former lawyer, accused the prosecution’s key witness of lying on the stand in the New York criminal case against former President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, Costello appeared before House Judiciary Committee Republicans during a hearing on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

Costello claimed that his former client, Cohen, lied to jurors during his testimony this week.

‘[H]e cherry picks certain emails or text messages and tries to make them look like something else.’

Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, took the stand on Monday as the prosecution’s final witness in its case against the former president.

Last year, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in connection with a $130,000 so-called hush money payment Cohen made to porn actress Stormy Daniels, who claimed she had an affair with Trump. Cohen testified that he made the payment at Trump’s request and was later reimbursed. Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges and denied Daniels’ affair allegations.

Costello, who represented Cohen from April 2018 to July 2018, told lawmakers that Cohen is an “inveterate liar” who previously told him information contradicting his testimony this week. He noted that Cohen waved the attorney-client privilege at the request of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York because he had pleaded guilty to eight felony counts and “was seeking to lessen his sentence and thought he could be clever by going into the U.S. Attorney’s Office and lying about cooperation.”

ohen accused Costello and Rudy Giuliani of “conspiring to obstruct justice by tampering with a witness, namely Michael Cohen,” Costello told the committee.

“The story which they were floating at the time … was that we had dangled a pardon under Michael Cohen’s nose in order to keep him quiet so that he wouldn’t testify against Donald Trump,” Costello stated.

He explained that he met with the two assistant U.S. attorneys and two FBI agents and detailed his “entire history” with Cohen.

“I explained the many, many lies that Michael Cohen told us,” he said.

After reviewing Cohen’s Tuesday testimony, Costello said he identified several lies he told the jury.

“Virtually every statement he made about me was another lie,” Costello told lawmakers. “What he tries to do is he cherry picks certain emails or text messages and tries to make them look like something else.”

Costello explained that the first time he met Cohen, which was shortly after the FBI raided Cohen’s hotel room and office, his behavior was “absolutely manic,” and “he looked like he hadn’t slept in four or five days.”

According to Costello, Cohen told him at least 10 to 20 times, “I want you to know I will do whatever the F- I have to do. I will never spend one day in jail.”

During the meeting, Cohen allegedly told Costello that he had not done anything wrong and was “cooperating with the special counsel” and Congress.

“Of course, he forgot to tell us that he lied to Congress,” Costello said, adding that he explained to Cohen that Trump was the actual target in the special counsel’s investigation.

He claimed that Cohen told him that just a couple of nights before their meeting, he was “seriously considering” committing suicide by jumping off the roof of the hotel “because he couldn’t handle the pressure of the legal problems that he saw coming his way.”

“What he wanted to find out from us that day was his escape route. That’s what he called it, ‘Guys, you have to tell me what my escape route is. What can I do to get out of this?'” Costello continued.

He told the House committee that he asked Cohen whether he had “truthful information about Donald Trump” and, if so, then “all your legal problems” could be “solved by the end of the week.”

“His response, ‘I swear to God, Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump.’ I said, ‘Michael, I want you to think carefully about this.’ I probably came back to this subject 10 or 20 times during the two-hour period,” Costello remarked.

He noted that each time he asked Cohen the question, Cohen responded the same way: He did not have anything incriminating on Trump.

“I said, ‘Michael, whatever you have has to be truthful. If you think you can go in there and tell these people lies, you’re crazy. It’s going to backfire on you,” Costello continued. “Probably the fifth or sixth time I got around to doing that, he said, ‘Well, I know that money is missing from the Trump inaugural ball.’ I said, ‘Is Donald Trump involved in that?’ No. ‘Does Donald Trump know anything about that?’ No. I said, ‘Michael, that’s useless. You’re not going anywhere with that.'”

Costello explained that Cohen’s recent testimony is “exactly the opposite” of what his client previously told him.

United States Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) asked Costello whether Cohen is “a liar.” Costello responded, “That doesn’t even begin to describe him. He lies at every opportunity when it’s in his favor.”

“Is there a single branch of government that Michael Cohen hasn’t lied to?” Gaetz inquired.

Costello replied, “Gee, I think there isn’t.”

He noted that Cohen has “changed his story” since their first meeting.

“You have to believe Michael Cohen in order to convict Donald Trump, if there’s actually a crime, which there isn’t,” Costello told committee chairman Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Representative Greg Steube (R-Florida) asked Costello to explain his view on Cohen’s motivation for sending Daniels the $130,000 settlement payment.

According to Costello, Cohen told him, “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.” He noted that Cohen stated he did not believe Daniels’ allegations but thought that it would be “embarrassing” for Melania Trump.

“That’s why I decided to take care of this on my own,” Cohen allegedly told Costello.

Costello told the committee that he asked Cohen several times whether Trump was involved in the settlement agreement, to which Cohen allegedly replied that he was not.

“I went back to that several times. ‘You did this on your own?’ On my own. ‘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,” Costello recounted his alleged conversation with Cohen.

According to Costello, Cohen told him he took out a “HELOC loan” against his property to secure the funds to pay Daniels. When asked why he did that, Cohen allegedly told Costello that he did not want anyone, including his wife, to know where he had gotten the money. Costello claimed that Cohen’s wife is “in charge” of the family finances and would have asked him “a hundred questions” about the payment.

Costello accused Cohen of feeling “betrayed” by Trump’s decision not to offer him a White House position after securing the 2016 presidential election.

“He said to me that he should have been Attorney General of the United States or at least the chief assistant to the president. Ludicrous,” Costello continued. “He was very angry about that. He wanted to do something to put himself back into the inner circle of Donald Trump. That’s why he took care of this on his own. There had to be a motivation. Michael Cohen is always working for things that benefit himself.”