A lawyer who formerly advised Michael Cohen alleges that in 2018 the ex-Trump adviser claimed to know nothing about the former president committing wrongdoing, including on hush money to women.
By Nick Givas and John Solomon
An attorney who advised disgraced Trump organization lawyer Michael Cohen provided Manhattan prosecutors with voluminous documentation, including contemporaneous emails and memos, purporting to show that in 2018 Cohen wanted Donald Trump to help cover his legal bills and repeatedly claimed he had no evidence incriminating the former president in a hush money deal with porn actress Stormy Daniels.
"Cohen said he had no information against Trump," one memo summarizing attorney Robert Costello’s interactions with Cohen stated. That memo, dated April 2019, recounted Costello’s interview with federal prosecutors about conversations he and colleagues had with Cohen a year earlier.
Costello, a former federal prosecutor who has represented famous clients like George Steinbrenner, Leona Hemsley, Rudy Giuliani and Steve Bannon, told Just the News on Tuesday he provided Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office with more than 300 pages of emails, memos and texts chronicling his dealings with Cohen.
He said his documents showed Cohen took out a bank loan known as a HELOC — on his own — during the 2016 presidential election to pay Stormy Daniels $130,000 under a nondisclosure agreement so she would remain quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump. Cohen bragged he kept the situation quiet so that Melania Trump and Cohen’s own wife wouldn’t learn about it, Costello said in an interview on the John Solomon Reports podcast, recounting what he said Cohen told him back in 2018.
"He said," Costello recalled, "’I didn’t believe the information, but I knew that this was a situation that would cause embarrassment. So I negotiated with this lawyer, and we worked out an NDA … for the payment of $130,000.’
"And I said, ‘Did you get that money from Donald Trump?’ ‘No.‘ ‘Did you get it from any Trump Organization?’ ‘No.’
"I said, ‘Did you take that money out of your own savings or checking?’ ‘No.’
"I said, ‘Well, how’d you get the money?’ He said, ‘I took out a HELOC loan.’ ‘Why would you take out a HELOC loan to cover something like this?’ He said ‘because I wanted to keep it secret. If I took money from my account, my wife would know about it. I didn’t want my wife to know about it. I didn’t want Melania Trump to know about it.’ He said, ‘That’s why I did it that way.’"
"Now, if you’re gonna do it that way, that means you’re keeping it from Donald Trump and Melania Trump," Costello added, summarizing the story he offered grand jurors and Manhattan prosecutors.
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