Michael Cohen, former lawyer for former US President Donald Trump, arrives in court in New York, New York, US, March 13, 2023.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified for three hours Monday before a Manhattan grand jury investigating the former president and will return Wednesday to answer more questions from prosecutors about paying money to a porn star. which he arranged for Trump.
“Michael had a long and productive afternoon,” Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis told reporters outside Manhattan Criminal Court, NBC News reported.
Davis added that Cohen plans to return Wednesday afternoon to “finish his testimony.” The attorney declined to elaborate on what Cohen told prosecutors.
Cohen, before entering court earlier Monday, told reporters that his “goal is to tell the truth” and not engage in “retaliation” against Trump.
“It’s all about accountability. He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds,” Cohen said.
Cohen, who was Trump’s lawyer for years, paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000 shortly before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual experience with Trump.
The Trump Organization later reimbursed him for the payment, but classified the payout as legal expenses. The mischaracterization is now at the center of the former president’s criminal investigation.
Cohen later pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan to multiple felonies, including one related to paying off Daniels. He has since become an outspoken critic of Trump.
Trump has declined an offer to testify before the grand jury investigating him, his lawyer said Monday.
Such a motion is common shortly before prosecutors seek charges against people who have an extended chance to testify.
Trump has denied having sex with Daniels and condemned the investigation into the payment. The investigation is being conducted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.
In a post on his social media site over the weekend, Trump said the late former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau “would be rolling in his grave if told that his office was even considering indicting the 45th president of the United States.” states and a leading Republican contender for the 2024 nomination.”
Trump called the case a “fraud” led by Daniels, Cohen and Daniels’ former lawyer Michael Avenatti, who is serving time in federal prison for defrauding clients.