Robert Costello will testify before Trump’s grand jury on Monday
Attorney Robert “Bob” Costello, once legal counsel to Michael Cohen, told NBC News he will testify before the Manhattan grand jury on Monday to consider former President Donald Trump’s case on Monday.
Trump’s attorneys have asked Costello’s prosecutor to testify in the case involving a silent payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation.
The fact that Costello is appearing at the request of Trump’s team indicates he could contradict Cohen, who was a key witness in the case.
Cohen, the former Trump lawyer who pleaded guilty in federal court in 2018 to making the illegal payment to Daniels, testified before the grand jury last week. He also met with prosecutors more than 20 times.
Cohen alleged that Trump ordered him to pay the hush money for the “primary purpose of influencing” the 2016 presidential election. He told NBC News he would return to the district attorney’s office on Monday to stand by as a rebuttal witness.
Costello told NBC News on Sunday that he never signed a warrant. He also said Cohen waived attorney-client privilege in 2019 — a move that shocked attorneys who learned about it.
Cohen, meanwhile, said Costello never portrayed him.
The news was first reported by The New York Times.
A spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
The district attorney’s office convened the grand jury to consider the payment to Daniels, who alleges she slept with Trump before he became president. Trump denied any wrongdoing and said he had not had an affair with Daniel. But he acknowledged reimbursing Cohen the $130,000, a payment he said was legal.
Tacopina said this month that Trump’s attorneys “have no plans” to meet with the district attorney’s office. And last week, Trump attorney Joe Tacopina said Trump would not appear before the grand jury.
NBC News reported Friday that law enforcement is preparing for a possible indictment of Trump as early as next week. Following the report, Trump predicted in a post on his social media platform Truth Social on Saturday that he would be arrested on Tuesday and called on his supporters to protest.
Two senior law enforcement officers told NBC News that an interagency policy meeting is scheduled for Monday around security in the event that an indictment from Trump comes down this week.
The New York City Police Department also held meetings on Sunday to discuss possible security plans.
Manhattan’s investigation is separate from the Justice Department’s investigation into Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and his handling of classified documents, overseen by Special Counsel Jack Smith.