Michael Cohen, former attorney for former U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives to the New York Courthouse in New York City, U.S., March 13, 2023.
Eduardo Munoz | Reuters
Donald Trump‘s ex-personal lawyer Michael Cohen testified for three hours Monday to a Manhattan grand jury investigating the former president, and will return Wednesday to answer more questions from prosecutors about a hush-money payment to a porn star that he arranged for Trump.
“Michael has spent a long and productive afternoon,” Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis told reporters outside Manhattan Criminal Court, NBC News reported.
Davis added that Cohen plans to return Wednesday afternoon to “complete his testimony.” The lawyer declined to go into detail about what Cohen told prosecutors.
Cohen, before entering the courthouse earlier Monday, told journalists that his “goal is to tell the truth,” not to engage in “revenge” against Trump.
“This is all about accountability. He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds,” Cohen said.
Cohen, who served for years as Trump’s attorney, paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual tryst with Trump.
The Trump Organization later reimbursed him for the payment, but classified the disbursement as legal expenses. The mischaracterization is now the focus of the criminal investigation of the former president.
Cohen later pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to multiple crimes, including one related to the payoff to Daniels. He has since become an outspoken critic of Trump.
Trump declined an offer to testify to the grand jury investigating him, his lawyer said Monday.
Such an offer is common shortly before prosecutors seek indictments against the people extended the chance to testify.
Trump has denied having sex with Daniels and has condemned the investigation into the payoff. The probe 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 DA Robert Morgenthau would be “spinning in his grave if he were told that his Office was even thinking about bringing charges against the 45th President of the United States & leading Republican contender for the 2024 Nomination.”
Trump called the case a “Scam” led by Daniels, Cohen and Daniels’ ex-attorney Michael Avenatti, who is serving a federal prison sentence for defrauding clients.