Trump ally Robert Costello claims he destroyed Michael Cohen’s credibility before grand jury

Donald Trump ally Robert Costello has claimed that he sought to destroy Michael Cohen’s credibility as he testified before the Manhattan grand jury investigating the former president’s role in hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Mr Costello – a one-time ally turned critic of Mr Trump’s former “fixer” Cohen – gave testimony before the grand jury on Monday as a possible indictment draws ever nearer for the former president.

After more than two hours of testimony, the attorney emerged and told reporters outside Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office that he had contradicted public statements Cohen has made about the payments and cast doubts on his credibility.

“If they want to go after Donald Trump and they have solid evidence then so be it,” he said.

“But Michael Cohen is far from solid evidence.”

In an interview withThe New York Times, he said he tore into Cohen’s credibility.

“I told the grand jury that this guy couldn’t tell the truth if you put a gun to his head,” he said.

Mr Costello, who once worked as a legal adviser to Cohen and has previously represented Mr Trump allies Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani, said that his appearance was at times hostile and claimed that the DA’s office had “cherry-picked” information from more than 300 emails he turned over to the investigation.

“They seemed clearly one-sided and not after the truth,” he claimed.

Mr Costello’s appearance came at the request of the former president’s legal team as he makes a last-ditch bid to avoid criminal charges over the 2016 payments.

Cohen, Mr Trump’s former “fixer” and the prosecutors’ star witness in the case, had been asked to make himself available as a rebuttal witness on Monday – but he was not called to testify.

It is unclear if he will be asked to testify this week.

Robert Costello speaks to reporters in Manhattan (AP)
Robert Costello speaks to reporters in Manhattan (AP)

A source told Fox News that another unidentified witness is expected to testify before the grand jury on Wednesday.

This means that Mr Trump’s claim of an indictment on Tuesday is unlikely.

Politico reported on Monday night that the grand jury will not return until Wednesday – which means an indictment will not come until Wednesday at the earliest.

Mr Trump had claimed on his Truth Social platform on Saturday that he was expecting to be arrested on Tuesday and called on his supporters to “TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”

His comments instantly drew comparisons to his rhetoric in the aftermath of his 2020 presidential election loss – rhetoric that ultimately culminated in the January 6 Capitol riots.

Mr Trump’s legal team later walked back the former president’s timeline for an arrest, confirming that they have not been notified that he will be indicted – or given a time for if or when it could happen.

On Monday night, Mr Trump went on a Truth Social rampage, posting a scathing video in which he fumed about the four criminal investigations into his actions.

He also claimed that he was “standing in their way” of political “enemies” on behalf of his supporters.

In other posts, he reTruthed several of his own posts from earlier on Monday and shared several clips from Fox News condemning his potential indictment.

Trump shared a late-night video on Truth Social slamming the investigations (Truth Social)
Trump shared a late-night video on Truth Social slamming the investigations (Truth Social)

New York officials are said to be bracing for potential protests or unrest if or when an indictment lands.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have been preparing security plans, including additional security around the Manhattan Criminal Court where Mr Trump could appear to face charges.

While several Republicans have slammed the potential indictment of Mr Trump, many have also revealed that they don’t support Mr Trump’s calls for protests.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and MAGA Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene said they did not think Americans should protest an indictment and said that Mr Trump wants peace.

Manhattan prosecutors have been investigating whether Mr Trump falsified the Trump Organization’s business records when Mr Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen made a payment of $130,0000 to Ms Daniels days before the 2016 election.

Prosecutors claim that the money was used to silence Ms Daniels about an alleged affair she had with Mr Trump.

Mr Trump has long denied having an affair with the adult film star.

Mr Trump’s former fixer and personal attorney Michael Cohen was convicted of tax evasion, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations related to the payments to Ms Daniels. He was sentenced to three years in prison.

Last week Ms Daniels and Cohen both testified before the grand jury last week.

Mr Trump had also been invited by the Manhattan DA to testify – an invitation he unsurprisingly turned down.

While it was an invitation he was unlikely to accept, it sent the clearest signal to date that he could be criminally indicted.

Under New York law, a person has a right to appear before a grand jury before a prosecutor asks the grand jury to indict them on charges.

If prosecuted, Mr Trump would become the first former president in American history to face criminal charges.