Attorney invited to testify before Trump’s grand jury
WASHINGTON (AP) — An attorney who previously advised Michael Cohen, the government’s key witness in the investigation of hush money payments against Donald Trump, has been invited to appear Monday before a Manhattan grand jury hearing possible charges against, according to sources the former president is being considered by a person familiar with the matter.
Robert Costello had advised Cohen before a falling out between the two and is ready to testify before the grand jury, challenging the credibility of Cohen’s testimony, according to the person, who insisted on anonymity to discuss secret trials.
Costello contacted a Trump attorney and told him he had information that contradicted Cohen’s recent statements and could exonerate Trump, the person said. The attorney alerted the district attorney’s office, which subpoenaed Costello’s law firm last week for filing and ordered him to testify Monday afternoon.
The Manhattan Attorney’s Office declined to comment Sunday. Prosecutors have not said when they expect to complete their work or when or if Trump could be charged. The former president claimed in a post on Saturday that he would be arrested on Tuesday, although people close to him later said he had had no news from prosecutors.
The New York Times first reported Costello’s anticipated grand jury appearance.
Cohen is a former attorney and Trump fix who was a key witness in District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation, met regularly with prosecutors, and appeared before the grand jury earlier this month.
Cohen was serving a prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal charges, including campaign finance violations, in 2018 for arranging payouts to porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal to keep them from going public. Trump has denied the affairs.
Costello is a veteran New York attorney who has represented Trump allies, including his adviser Steve Bannon and personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. Costello’s connection to Cohen was highlighted in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report examining ties between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and efforts to obstruct the investigation.
According to the Mueller report, Cohen began speaking to Costello in April 2018, days after the FBI searched Cohen’s home, hotel room and office. Amid public speculation about whether Cohen would work with investigators, Costello emailed Cohen to assure him that he had a “very, very positive” conversation with Giuliani and that “you have friends in high places.” “.
Cohen waived his attorney-client privilege with Costello, which would allow Costello to describe their conversations, the person said.
Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP
Eric Tucker, The Associated Press