On Wednesday, famed Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz echoed what RTM reported on Tuesday — that Robert Costello’s testimony regarding the questionable integrity and trustworthiness of Michael Cohen significantly undermined the strength of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s argument.
Bragg is seeking to indict former President Donald Trump on felony charges regarding falsified business records and paying “hush money” through a third party in 2016 to conceal a sexual encounter in 2006.
One of Bragg’s key witnesses is Michael Cohen, and the other is Stormy Daniels, who previously presented false information to a court, and few consider her a reputable witness.
According to Dershowitz, Costello’s testimony and poor execution on Bragg’s part likely derailed any chance of a grand jury indictment.
On Monday, former federal prosecutor Robert Costello testified that Michael Cohen “couldn’t tell the truth if you put a gun to his head.” Costello later referred to Cohen as a “serial liar.”
Dershowitz shared his assessment on Fox News, telling host Sean Hannity that “Bob Costello has changed this case dramatically.”
“I think that Bragg now only has two possible results,” said Dershowitz. “Number one, he can say, ‘alright, I’m going to try to make the case without Cohen.’ He cannot use Cohen as a witness anymore. That would be unethical because of the testimony that Costello gave.”
Dershowitz continued: “Or he could say, ‘look, I have to drop the case.’ He may not be able to make it without Cohen. But if he can’t make it without Cohen, he can’t make it, because no ethical prosecutor is allowed to put on as a witness somebody who has told the lies and has contradicted himself so much.”
Cohen reportedly paid Daniels and a former Playboy model named Karen McDougal on Trump’s behalf so they would not disclose information regarding alleged sexual encounters with the former president.
Trump denied the women’s claims but acknowledged he paid more than $100,000 to suppress the disclosure of information potentially damaging to his family and political ambitions.
In August 2018, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges involving tax evasion, fraud and campaign finance violations — federal authorities released Cohen from prison in 2021.
Undermining Bragg’s case, Costello testified on Monday that Cohen said the hush money payments were his idea, not Trump’s.
After his testimony before the grand jury, Costello criticized prosecutors for “cherry-picking” evidence to present the grand jury with “a false view” of what occurred. “They seemed clearly one-sided and not after the truth,” Costello told The New York Times.
Dershowitz told Hannity that Costello’s testimony greatly impacted Bragg’s attempt to secure an indictment.
“I think that Bob Costello — it’s a game changer,” he told Hannity. “I think maybe that’s a reason for the delay here. I think ethical experts are now telling Bragg, ‘wait a minute, you cannot use Cohen.’ But if you can’t make it without Cohen, you cannot bring this charge.”
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