Donald Trump’s former lawyer, one of his worst enemies, Michael Cohen, testified at a grand jury in New York on Monday in a probe into bribery of a porn actress, in which the former US president is at risk of indictment.
If upheld, it would be the first criminal charges against a former US president and a thorn in Donald Trump’s path back to the White House after the 2024 presidential election.
Donald Trump “must take responsibility for his tactics,” Michael Cohen told multiple media outlets as he appeared in court, saying he wanted to “tell the truth” and not seek “revenge.”
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Contacted by AFP, his attorney, Lanny Davis, confirmed that he was “investigated by a grand jury,” a citizen’s group with broad investigative powers.
Michelle Cohen was set to testify in a 2016 trial over the $130,000 she paid porn star Stormy Daniels — real name Stephanie Clifford — to keep quiet about her alleged affair with Donald Trump.
The payment was made two weeks before the presidential election in which the Republican Party won against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The ex-lawyer, who pleaded guilty to arranging the payment in violation of campaign finance laws, was sentenced to three years in prison. He promised he acted on the Republican nominee’s apparent request and would repay him once he was in the White House.
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Last Thursday, the New York Times and Washington Post revealed that the Manhattan attorney’s office had subpoenaed Donald Trump to testify before a grand jury, which could mean an indictment for the former president is imminent.
According to the New York Times, Donald Trump may be accused of accounting fraud to cover up payments to Stormy Daniels.
The New York Times explained that the charges could become more serious and felony if prosecutors believe the crime was intended to cover up violations of campaign finance laws.
After the revelations by two newspapers, Donald Trump took to his Truth social network on Thursday to denounce what he called a “political witch hunt aimed at taking down the (so far) leading Republican presidential candidate in 2024.”
“I never had anything to do with Stormy Daniels,” said Donald Trump, who has been targeted in other court cases but never charged criminally.
“Music geek. Coffee lover. Devoted food scholar. Web buff. Passionate internet guru.”
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“What shocks us most of all is his attitude and his wife’s attitude is a real insult to us.”
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