Former President Donald Trump’s onetime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified for the second time on Wednesday before a grand jury investigating alleged “hush money” payments made by Trump.
Cohen is the central figure in the investigation. In the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign, he paid adult film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
Cohen has encouraged the investigation, meeting repeatedly with prosecutors this year before his grand jury testimony began Monday, lasting three hours.
“We’ll see what happens, what questions they ask, and then finally the grand jurors get a chance to ask me questions and I’m looking forward to that,” Cohen said.
The testimony comes about a week after Trump was subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury, an offer he would not accept, according to Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina.
Trump’s legal team and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office have not spoken since the offer to appear, according to Tacopina. In New York, an offer to testify often precedes an indictment.
A spokesman for Bragg declined to comment Wednesday.
Tacopina criticized the lawsuit Monday, saying “we, and most election law experts, believe (the lawsuit) has absolutely no legal merit.”
Asked by CBS News on Monday about the handling of Tecopena’s case, Cohen replied, “I think Joe Tecopena needs to take a refresher course.”
Former Manhattan prosecutor Mark Pomerantz described the grounds for the potential case as “novel” in his recent memoir, “People v. Donald Trump: An Inside Account.” Pomerantz said Daniels’ payment constituted falsifying business records, a misdemeanor that he said could potentially be criminalized under New York law if it was intended to commit another crime. to cover up: in this case, an alleged illegal campaign contribution.
Cohen, who went to prison on federal charges related to the payment to Daniels, described wiring the money through a newly created limited liability company in his memoir, “Disloyal.” She and Daniels have claimed that she and Trump signed a non-disclosure agreement in which they used the pseudonyms David Dennison and Peggy Patterson.
Trump has denied ever having sex with Daniels and denies wrongdoing. He called the case a “political witch hunt” and an “old and reprehensible case, rejected by every prosecutor’s office.”