Trump Claims Manhattan DA Is ‘Searching for yet Another Witness’

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
March 22, 2023Donald Trump
Trump Claims Manhattan DA Is ‘Searching for yet Another Witness’
Former President Donald Trump speaks at the New Hampshire Republican State Committee's Annual Meeting in Salem, N.H., on Jan. 28, 2023. (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump asserted that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is trying to find another witness before bringing charges against him, coming after several individuals testified in front of a grand jury in recent days.

“There was NO CRIME, NO AFFAIR, NO BOOKKEEPING ERROR OR MISDEMEANOR, NO ‘NOTHING,’ OTHER THAN NOW PROVEN LIES BY MICHAEL COHEN, A CONVICTED FELON AND PERJURER, AND THE STRONG LIKELIHOOD OF AN EXTORTION PLOT AGAINST ME,” Trump wrote on Truth Social Tuesday. “So, after getting CRUSHED yesterday by Cohen’s highly respected attorney, with the case against me FULLY DISPROVEN, why is the D.A. searching for yet another ‘witness?’ TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME!”

The former president was referring to testimony provided by Cohen, his erstwhile lawyer who was convicted on several federal charges after pleading guilty in 2018, and Cohen’s former legal adviser, Robert Costello. During a news conference in Manhattan on Monday, Costello confirmed he testified in front of the grand jury and said he attempted to discredit Cohen as a witness, claiming he lacks credibility.

Days before that, Trump wrote on the social media website that he received word that he might be indicted this week. Previously, he said that the indictment would come on Tuesday, while unconfirmed media reports claim that it could come as soon as Wednesday.

Bragg’s office has not issued a public statement about whether another witness will testify before the grand jury. Since Trump’s statement over the weekend, Bragg’s office has given no public comments about the investigation, and it has not responded to The Epoch Times’ requests for comment.

Unnamed sources have also told media outlets that Trump could be indicted for misclassifying a payment to adult entertainment actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign. Trump has denied an affair with Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, and has denied any wrongdoing in the seven-year-old case.

This weekend, Cohen told reporters that the district attorney’s office asked him to be available on Monday in case he was needed as a rebuttal witness to Costello, himself a former lawyer to Rudy Giuliani, during his testimony. After leaving the courthouse Monday, Cohen said that no additional testimony was needed from him.

If Trump’s comment about Bragg’s office needing another witness is accurate, it would likely delay a resolution in the case. Should the grand jury vote on an indictment, it could become public within a few hours or it could be kept “under seal” for days or weeks.

Repeatedly on Truth Social, Trump has assailed Bragg and said the Democrat district attorney is acting in a nakedly political manner and not focusing on violent crime rising in New York City in recent years. In a rare public statement issued Monday to the Washington Post, his office claimed that assertions about rampant crime are not true.

Costello was invited by prosecutors to appear after saying he had information that would undercut the credibility of Cohen, a former lawyer Trump who later turned against him and then became a key witness in the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation. Costello said he had provided Cohen legal advice several years ago after Cohen himself became entangled in the federal investigation into the payment.

In a news conference after his grand jury appearance, Costello told reporters he had come forward because he did not believe Cohen. In statements to news outlets this week, Cohen disputed Costello’s comments and said he was never his lawyer.

Costello briefly acted as a legal adviser to Cohen after the FBI raided Cohen’s home and apartment in 2018. At the time, Cohen was being investigated for both tax evasion and for payments he helped orchestrate in 2016.

“If they want to go after Donald Trump and they have solid evidence, then so be it,” Costello told reporters Monday. “But Michael Cohen is far from solid evidence.”

Although Trump has said he may be indicted this week, a Trump spokesperson has told news outlets he had not been formally notified of charges. Meanwhile, the former president has indicated that he will continue to campaign if he’s indicted and has his first rally scheduled for later this month in Waco, Texas.

As the New York investigation pushes toward conclusion, Trump faces other probes in Atlanta and Washington. Trump has described both investigations as politically motivated witch hunts designed to derail this third presidential bid.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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