Michael Cohen asked to be available in case witness is called to discredit him in Trump grand jury investigation, sources say

The attorney could be called before a Manhattan grand jury on Monday to impeach the star witness. Michael Cohen In the investigation into former President Donald Trump, two sources confirmed to CBS News.

Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, has been asked to be available before the grand jury, which is investigating Cohen’s alleged “hush money” payments to the adult film star, if needed. Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Cohen has been asked to stay close to the grand jury, which meets in Lower Manhattan, in case he needs to “rebut” any other witnesses who testify Monday.

Two sources told CBS News that attorney Robert Costello, who served as Cohen’s legal counsel before he was fired, sought to discredit Cohen, a key witness in the Trump investigation. may appear before a grand jury for Sources said Costello has been asked by Trump’s lawyers to appear, but it’s unclear if he will actually be called.

Michael Cohen left after testifying before a grand jury in New York.
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen leaves after testifying before a grand jury on March 15, 2023 in Manhattan, New York City.

Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Costello’s possible appearance was first reported by The New York Times.

Trump posted on social media. Saturday that he expects to be arraigned Tuesday by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg. He did not post any details about what he might be charged with, but Bragg’s office is investigating Cohen’s $130,000 payment to Daniels before the 2016 election. The president also told his followers to “Protest, take back your nation!” In case of his arrest

Trump was subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury earlier this month, a move that often signals an impending indictment. Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, said the former president would not accept an invitation to appear.

On Saturday, Trump’s lawyer said his social media comments were newsworthy. “Because this is a political prosecution, the district attorney’s office is engaging in a practice of leaking everything to the press rather than communicating with President Trump’s lawyers as would be done in a normal case,” Trump’s attorney said. Susan Knuckles said in a text. CBS News.

Bragg did not comment on Trump’s social media posts. But in a memo to staff on Saturday, Bragg warned of potential risks and said “your safety is our top priority.”

“We have complete confidence in our excellent OCA and NYPD colleagues, as well as our outstanding security staff and investigators, and we will continue to coordinate with all of them,” Bragg said in a memo. “We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York. Our law enforcement partners will ensure that any specific or credible threats against the office are thoroughly investigated.” will be done and that adequate safety measures are in place so all 1,600 of us have a safe work environment.”

Cohen, a central figure in Bragg’s investigation, Testified before the grand jury. Previous Week. They Reported to prison in May 2019. on federal charges related to the payment, as well as charges of tax evasion and lying to Congress.

Trump has denied any wrongdoing, including ever having sex with Daniels. He called the case a “political witch hunt” and an “old, reprehensible case that every prosecutor’s office has rejected.”

Carolyn Linton contributed to this report.

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