Robert Costello, former legal adviser to Michael Cohen, testified before a grand jury Monday that Cohen’s testimony in the case against former President Donald Trump is unreliable.
“Michael Cohen, in my opinion, was lying about just about everything,” Costello told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Monday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“It was clear to me that the Manhattan DA’s office did not want to get to the truth,” Costello also said, adding that he “got his point across” anyway.
Costello said he contacted the authorities involved when he saw televised coverage of Cohen discussing his testimony before the grand jury. According to Costello, the testimony Cohen described was “contrary to what he told [Costello and Costello’s colleagues]” in 2018.
“I don’t represent Donald Trump, but I do stand for justice, and I think I have a legal obligation to inform both sides,” Costello said.
Costello told Carlson he prepared materials in 2019 for the Department of Justice on his representation of Cohen that he sent both to Donald Trump’s lawyer and to the Manhattan DA’s office.
“I wouldn’t touch a witness like Michael Cohen for any amount of money. You simply cannot rely upon this guy,” Costello said. Costello added that he formerly served as deputy chief of the criminal division for the U.S. attorney’s office of the Southern District of New York.
Costello, displaying what he said was a waiver of attorney-client privilege signed by Cohen, noted that Cohen had “gone on another station” Monday denying he had signed it.
Costello testified before the grand jury in Manhattan Monday for two hours in a case against former President Donald Trump about a hush-money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels back in 2016. Costello represented Cohen in 2018 in a case involving that payment and other matters.
Costello said Cohen told him he was suicidal when they first met. In addition, Costello says Cohen repeatedly told Costello and colleagues that he had “nothing” on Donald Trump, despite the fact that giving up such information, if it existed, might absolve Cohen of some of the legal troubles he was facing.
“When you’re willing to give up your life to avoid these legal troubles, and they’re insurmountable to you, and you’re offered a way out … it’s certainly easier to give up information on Donald Trump than it is to kill yourself.”
“‘Guys, I want you to know I will do whatever the F I’ve got to do,'” Costello said, quoting Michael Cohen. Costello, describing his interaction with Cohen, said Cohen “paced like a wild tiger.”
“What he’s saying is, ‘I’ll lie, cheat, steal, shoot somebody,'” Costello said, characterizing Cohen’s words.
Cohen pleaded guilty to several charges, including a charge related to the Stormy Daniels payment, and was sentenced to three years in prison for it December 2018. Those charges included tax evasion, making false statements to a federally insured bank, and campaign finance violations. Separately, Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to the U.S. Congress, for which he received a two-month concurrent sentence.
“Weak, to say the least,” Costello responded, when asked his general assessment of the case against President Trump.