Robert Costello will testify after saying that he had information that could disrupt the process against the former president for bribing a porn actress.
A lawyer allied to Donald Trump is expected to testify before a New York grand jury on Monday, giving the former president an indirect opportunity to make the case that he should not face criminal charges for money paid to suppress compromising information during his 2016 campaign. .
Robert Costello was called to testify by the Manhattan district attorney’s office after he said he had information that raised questions about the credibility of Michael Cohen, a key witness in the investigation, according to a person with knowledge of the matter who insisted that it not be revealed. reveal his name when discussing secret legal proceedings.
His testimony will come two days after Trump said he expected to be charged with criminal charges and urged his supporters to protest his possible arrest. In a series of social media posts over the weekend, the former Republican president criticized the New York investigation and had particularly hostile words for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat.
Donald Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was the one who would have coordinated the payment to actress Stormy Daniels. Photo: AP
It was not clear if Costello’s testimony could change the course of a grand jury investigation that appears nearing completion.
Costello briefly acted as Cohen’s legal counsel after the FBI raided Cohen’s home and apartment in 2018. At the time, Cohen was under investigation for both tax evasion and payments he helped make in 2016 to buy the silence of two women who claimed to have had sexual encounters with Trump.
For several months, it was unclear whether Cohen, a longtime lawyer and Trump Organization operative who once bragged he would “take a bullet” for his boss, would remain loyal to the president.
Cohen ultimately decided to plead guilty in connection with payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal, which he says were ordered by Trump. Since then, he has been highly critical of Trump, testifying before Congress and then before the Manhattan grand jury.
The porn actress Stormy Daniels, who is at the center of one of Donald Trump’s legal problems. Photo: AP
Trump, who has denied having a sexual relationship with either of the two women, has called Cohen a liar. Costello broke up with Cohen before he pleaded guilty, after it became clear that he was no longer on Trump’s side.
In subsequent years, Costello, a seasoned New York lawyer, represented Trump allies, including his former political strategist Steve Bannon and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
The Manhattan district attorney’s office declined to comment Sunday.
Translation: Elisa Carnelli