Judge Merchan Kicks Trump’s Witness Out of the Court

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Michael Cohen’s former attorney, Robert Costello, testified for Donald Trump in today’s Manhattan trial. Under oath, he said that Michael Cohen told him Donald Trump knew nothing about the payment to Stormy Daniels and that it was his idea to pay her off.

Mr. Costello is a prominent attorney with the courage and ethical underpinnings to testify for Donald Trump, someone he has never represented.

A conservative reporter for Jim Hoft, Paul Ingrassia, has been in the court each day reporting in detail, posting on X. Today, Judge Merchan became infuriated with Mr. Costello and kicked him out of the courtroom.

Ingrassia said that prosecutors tried to filibuster Costello from taking the stand. They claimed his testimony was collateral and inadmissible.

Prosecutors knew Costello had damning testimony.

Earlier today, Cohen admitted he’d lie for personal reasons. Cohen said he embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from Donald Trump and lied to Allen Weisselberg.

Donald Trump’s attorney, Todd Blanche, obliterated Cohen as a witness.

The Testimony

Blanche: Did you consider your conversation with Michael Cohen during your first meeting with him at the Regency Hotel to be protected by the attorney-client privilege?

Prosecutor: Objection!

Merchan: Sustained!

Costello: Cohen was absolutely manic, pacing back and forth, left and right. After he explained what was going on, he said my life was shattered, my family’s life was shattered. He used the phrase, “What is my escape route?”

Blanche: It was cooperation he was looking for?

Costello: Absolutely!

Prosecutor has objected at least a half a dozen times throughout this exchange already.

Costello: I explained to Michael Cohen that the investigation would be resolved within a week if he had truthful information about Donald J. Trump.

Blanche: What information did he disclose?

Costello: Cohen said, “I swear to God, I have absolutely nothing to say about Donald John Trump.”

Blanche: What did he have to say about Stormy Daniels?

Costello: He said, “I don’t know why they’re trying to put me in jail over some f***cking NDAs.”

Blanche: Did he say anything about Donald Trump in connection with Stormy Daniels manner?

Costello: He did.

Prosecutor: Objection!

Merchan: Sustained.

Blanche: Did President Trump’s family come up?

Costello: It did.

BLanche: What did Cohen say about Trump’s family?

Prosecutor: Objection!

Merchan: Sustained!

Blanche: I want to focus narrowly on about whether Cohen knew if Trump said anything about the payments to Stormy Daniels.

Costello: Cohen repeated numerous times that President Trump knew nothing about these payments and that Cohen DID THIS ON HIS OWN.

Merchan grows irate, begins EXCORIATING Robert Costello on the stand for making a few off-handed remarks and rolling his eyes during the testimony.

Merchan: Are you staring me down right now?

Costello: I’m not.

Merchan: GET OUT OF THE COURTROOM, NOW! GET OUT OF THE COURTROOM!

VIDEO CUTS OUT

SHOW TRIAL!

BREAKING: Trial now resumes after delay following fiery exchange between Merchan and Costello about courtroom conduct.

Merchan is absolutely seething over Costello’s damning testimony. The type of treatment Costello, an experienced prosecutor who once worked for the US Attorney’s Office for New York in the 1970s and early 1980s, is receiving on the witness stand from the judge is disgusting, Ingrassia wrote.

Merchan is visibly perturbed, condescending, and downright abusive of the witness on the stand. Outrageous behavior from a judge, and totally inappropriate for any courtroom! No decorum whatsoever!

Blanche: Did you ever put any pressure on Cohen?

Costello: No.

Blanche: Did you ever put any pressure on Rudy Giuliani?

Costello: No.

Blanche: Whose interests did you care about when you worked with Michael Cohen?

Costello: Exclusively Michael Cohen. Nobody else. He was my only client.

Blanche: Did Cohen pay you?

Costello: No.

Blanche: Did your firm at the time try to collect payment?

Costello: No, and they didn’t sue.

Blanche: Why?

Costello: It wasn’t enough.

Bragg Prosecutor: Did you say Michael Cohen was acting like a drama queen? Yes or No?

Costello: I said I didn’t know if Michael Cohen was acting like a drama queen.

Merchan, again, chastises Costello from the stand: WOULD YOU JUST ANSWER YES OR NO?

Bragg Prosecutor: You don’t like drama queens, don’t you?

BREAKING: Merchan, visibly exasperated, hastily ends the day’s proceedings. Implores jurors to not research the case through media, email, telephone, texts, or the internet. Reminds them they should not Google or discuss the case outside the courtroom.

Abruptly says “have a good night,” then cuts out the video. On hot mic, urges Costello to step down from the witness stand.

Ingrassia Continues to post on X

Merchan is obviously disgusted by Costello, whose testimony has thrown a huge wrench into Bragg’s case, unlike anything we have seen thus far this entire show trial. Fireworks!

Blanche: The prosecutor has been trying to push a theory of the defense stealing the election, but there is no evidence of underlying criminal intent to anything prosecution is claiming: that is a matter of law, and the predicates used by the prosecution to support their criminal conspiracy theory should not be allowed.

There is absolutely no evidence that Trump or any of the co-conspirators had any criminal intent at the time they were engaging in this conduct. There was no discussion about catch and kill, financial payments that would be made with respect to any stories. So there is no evidence of criminal intent or criminal misconduct supporting a conspiracy formed at this first meeting that carried out over the next year-plus.

Karen McDougall didn’t even want her story out. She wanted an arrangement with AMI to be on the covers of magazines, have a column, etc. Not catch and kill a story. So while that was the word used by Mr. Cohen, it was not the evidence that came out at trial.

So if there is a conspiracy to influence the election, how on earth is a false story – and a decision made to pay off the false story – a catch and kill? It’s not, and it’s certainly not a criminal catch and kill.

The underlying predicate that would make this misdemeanor a felony, as argued by the Prosecution, has no evidence to support a criminal conspiracy. For that reason, the court should enter a verdict in favor of the defendant.

There is no way this court should allow this case to go to the jury relying on Mr. Cohen’s testimony. And the People’s case, I don’t think would dispute, rests entirely on the credibility of Mr. Cohen’s testimony.

Mr. Cohen lied to this court repeatedly about, for example, his testimony before Congress, about having never asked them for a pardon.

Merchan: Would you like me to take it out of the jury’s hands that Mr. Cohen’s entire testimony should not be considered by the jury?

Blanche: That’s exactly what I want you to do. That Mr. Cohen’s entire testimony should not be allowed.

Blanche: In order for something to be a criminal conspiracy, there has to be underlying illegal conduct. Just because a few people get together does not make a conspiracy. You have a recordkeeping error here, but no crime. There has been no evidence presented to show that anything unlawful has been done.

Donald Trump commented after the testimony:


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