Michael Cohen (left) and Donald Trump.
Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images; Brandon Bell/Getty Images
Michael Cohen began his testimony Monday in the NY ‘hush money’ grand jury that may indict Trump.
He said he felt ‘a little twisted, inside’ as he entered the Manhattan building where the grand jury meets.
Cohen’s testimony could last several days and lead to a felony falsifying business documents charge.
Michael Cohen is testifying Monday before the secret Manhattan grand jury that is weighing a possible indictment of Donald Trump.
Cohen accuses his former boss of approving an illegal “hush-money” payment made just days before the 2016 presidential election, something Trump has denied as recently as this week in a campaign statement insisting he has done “absolutely nothing wrong.”
Back in 2018, federal prosecutors called the $130,000 payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels an illegal Trump campaign expenditure. A state grand jury is now weighing if the payment, which Cohen says was ordered by Trump, violates New York election and document laws.
An indictment, if voted, would make Trump the first ex-president to face criminal charges.
“I feel fine,” Cohen told reporters as he arrived to testify shortly after noon.
“A little twisted, to be honest, inside. It’s been a long time coming,” he added. “Five years, now, give or take.”
Cohen has said he first described the hush-money payment to Manhattan and federal prosecutors while Trump was still in office. Changes in the district attorney leadership, the pandemic, and intense legal fights with Trump attorneys over subpoenas repeatedly hamstrung the state probe.
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“My goal is to tell the truth. My goal is to allow Alvin Bragg and his team to do what they need to do. I’m just here to answer the questions,” Cohen told reporters on his way inside on Monday.
Asked if he wanted to see Trump arrested, Cohen disagreed.
“You’ve heard me say this many times my goal — this is not revenge, right? What this is is about accountability,” he said.
“I don’t want to see anyone, including Donald Trump indicted, prosecuted, convicted, incarcerated, simply because I fundamentally disagree with them.
“This is all about accountability. He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds.”
Cohen’s lawyer, Lannie Davis, was at Cohen’s side as he entered the building where the grand jury is hearing evidence in what one former prosecutor described as a small, sunless room filled with 1940s-era furnishings, including white linoleum-topped desks.
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Source:: Business Insider