Michael Cohen’s Former Lawyer Says Cohen Insisted in 2018 Trump Had Nothing to Do With Hush Money Scheme

Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen’s ex-lawyer told lawmakers during a House Committee hearing Wednesday that Cohen admitted in 2018 that he had concocted the hush-money scheme himself and had no incriminating evidence against then-President Donald Trump.

The Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing Wednesday to examine “the use of lawfare tactics to weaponize the rule of law.”

In prepared testimony before the Select Subcommittee, prominent New York defense attorney Robert Costello alleged that Cohen told him that he didn’t “have anything on Donald Trump,” but he would do “whatever the f-ck I have to do” to not “spend one day in jail.”

Cohen, a disbarred lawyer and convicted perjurer, is Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Brag’s “star” witness in Donald Trump’s hush money trial in New York City.

Costello alleged that Cohen repeatedly insisted that Trump had done nothing wrong while federal prosecutors in Manhattan were investigating whether Trump violated any election laws in 2016.

Costello, the former deputy chief of the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office’ criminal division, said the office closed the case “because they assessed that Michael Cohen, the so-called star witness, was totally unworthy of belief.”

Costello said that he assured Cohen, who was suicidal at the time, that he could get a deal from federal prosecutors if he delivered provable dirt on Trump.

“Each time Cohen said to me: ‘I swear to God, Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump,’” Costello’s prepared testimony states. “Cohen must have said this at least ten times because I kept coming back to it from different approaches.

Throughout the two-hour interview, according to Costello’s testimony, Cohen made clear that this payment to porn star Stormy Daniels was his own idea, “designed to try and get him back into the inner circle of Trump people in Washington.”

Cohen told his defense team in 2018 that he concocted the scheme to take out a home equity loan to pay Daniels $130,000 in return for her silence about the alleged affair, which Trump continues to deny ever took place.  Cohen told his lawyers that the former president didn’t know about the details about the scheme.

“When asked if Trump had any knowledge of this, Cohen told me no,” Costello said in his statement. “When asked whether Cohen got the $130,000 from Trump or any Trump entity or friend, Cohen again said no.

“When asked if this was from Cohen’s own money, Cohen said no,” Costello added. “He was asked where, then, did he get the money and Cohen explained he took out a HELOC Loan because he didn’t want anybody to know where the money came from.”

Cohen told his defense team in 2018 that he arranged the hush money deal because he saw it as “a way to ingratiate himself with Donald Trump and save embarrassment for Melania because he knew that Donald Trump was very concerned about not doing anything to embarrass Melania,” according to Costello.

The attorney recalled that he said to Cohen at one point: “Michael, now is the time to tell the truth and cooperate if you want your legal problems to disappear.”

Cohen would again reply: “I swear to God, Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump.”

Costello  said that after going to jail, Cohen went on “a revenge tour because he blamed Donald Trump for the loss of his law license and the fact that he did go to jail.”

“The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York saw this and acted properly,” he added.

“After that, the U.S. Attorney’s Office never dealt with Cohen again, having concluded, rightly, that he was a habitual liar and totally unreliable witness,” Costello continued. “That office chose to not bring any charges against President Trump. Clearly the correct decision. But the same cannot be said for the for the New York District Attorney’s Office.”

Alvin Bragg “took a different route to become famous and to ‘get’ Trump,” Costello said, adding that “Michael Cohen is simply not a credible man.”

Throughout the time that we were providing legal advice to Michael Cohen, he lied repeatedly both about consequential and inconsequential details. Whenever it suited his purposes, Michael Cohen showed no hesitation to lie. The pattern is consistent that Cohen lies when he thinks it is to his own advantage but tells the truth when it is to Michael Cohen’s own advantage. It was clearly to Cohen’s own advantage if he had truthful information about Donald Trump to cooperate and reveal that information to aid himself by eliminating Cohen’s own major legal problems that were causing him to consider suicide.

Costello’s account obliterates the Manhattan D.A.’s argument that Trump “orchestrated” the whole scheme to deceive voters in 2016. Directly contradicting his claims in 2018, Cohen testified in the trial this week that he acted on the instructions of Trump when he made the payment.

The attorney also testified that Bragg’s indictment was riddled with legal issues and will likely be reversed if there is a jury conviction.

Full hearing here:

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About Debra Heine

Debra Heine is a conservative Catholic mom of six and longtime political pundit. She has written for several conservative news websites over the years, including Breitbart and PJ Media.