Trump cheers news of ‘most important witness’ in New York hush-money probe

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Former President Trump applauded the news on Sunday that Robert Costello, who once served as a legal adviser to former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, will testify on Monday before the New York grand jury investigating Trump’s alleged involvement in a hush-money scheme.

“Just reported that the most important witness to go before the New York City grand jury, a highly respected lawyer who once represented convicted felon, jailbird, and serial fake storyteller and liar, Michael Cohen, will be doing so tomorrow afternoon,” Trump wrote in an all-caps Truth Social post Sunday.

“The information he will present will supposedly be conclusive and irrefutable! Witch hunt!” he added.

Costello, who has fallen out with Cohen in recent years, confirmed to The Hill that he will be appearing before the grand jury on Monday.

Cohen, a key witness in the investigation, said on Sunday he was asked to appear as a “rebuttal witness” at the Manhattan district attorney’s office and signaled that another witness would appear on Monday.

A person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press that Costello had reached out to a Trump lawyer to say that he had information that countered what Cohen had previously stated, and could exonerate Trump.

The grand jury is looking into Trump’s alleged role in a hush-money payment made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to prevent her from exposing an alleged affair she had with the former president. Cohen has admitted to being involved in the payments, while Trump has denied the affair.

The New York probe into the former president has moved to the center of the country’s political radar after Trump said in a Truth Social post on Saturday that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday in relation to the investigation. Trump called for protests over his potential arrest, which has led to concerns of violence.

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison in 2018 for setting up the the payment and paid $1.4 million in restitution and forfeited $500,000. He has since been a regular critic of his former client and boss.

Costello reportedly talked to Cohen about representing him in 2018, and then reached out to Trump officials about a pardon on Cohen’s behalf. However, their relationship soured as Cohen became an outspoken Trump critic, and Cohen refused to pay a legal bill from Costello, according to The New York Times.

The district attorney’s office declined to comment on whether Costello would be appearing before the grand jury on Monday.

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