Michael Cohen 'absolutely' prepared to testify against Trump if he's indicted
(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, speaking on ABC’s Good Morning America Friday, said he was “absolutely” prepared for cross-examination in a potential trial after completing his testimony this week before a Manhattan grand jury mulling charges against Trump.
“I was working for a man who ultimately became president of the United States, and, yes, there are things that we did that were wrong — for example, the hush-money payment — but I never expected that democracy would be on the line as a direct result of the former president,” Cohen told ABC News Anchor George Stephanopoulos.
Trump’s one-time fixer said he’s not worried about allies of Trump attacking his testimony.
“The facts are the facts. The truth is the truth and the truth will always rise so I’m not worried about anything that they want to come at me with,” he said.
Cohen did not divulge what prosecutors, investigating the 2016 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, asked him specifically after he met with them twice this week, but said, in his view, they have enough evidence to indict and convict the former president.
“I promise you and I promise the American people that all the information that is needed in order to create the indictment to get a prosecution and a conviction is in the hands of the district attorney,” Cohen said.
Stephanopoulos asked Cohen his biggest regret, and he said it was accepting a job from Trump in 2007.
“That’s my biggest regret. There was absolutely no reason for it. I didn’t need to work for him and I probably shouldn’t have. I should have listened to my wife, my daughter, my son and not accepted the job, but I did and, yeah, it’s cost me a lot. It’s cost my family a lot. Our happiness, finances, my law license,” he said. “But most importantly, as I said to you almost five years ago today that my wife, my daughter, my son and my country have my first loyalty and they always will.”
Stephanopoulos asked, “Do you think justice will be served?”
“I know it will be,” Cohen replied.
Cohen tweeted a reminder ahead of the interview that five years ago he told Stephanopoulos that his first loyalty was not to Trump but to his family and country, promising to discuss how he’s adhered to the words since.
Trump’s one-time fixer paid $130,000 to Daniels in the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign to allegedly keep her quiet about an affair she claimed to have had with Trump. The former president has denied an “affair” and his attorneys have framed the funds as an extortion payment.
“You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One in 2018, denying knowledge of the payment.
But the Manhattan district attorney’s office has been investigating whether Trump falsified business records when the Trump Organization allegedly reimbursed Cohen for the payment and then recorded the reimbursement as a legal expense.
Cohen served prison time after he pleaded guilty to federal charges that included campaign finance violations related to the hush payment. Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, noted Wednesday that when federal prosecutors charged Cohen they said that Trump — identified in court records as Individual 1 — directed Cohen to make the $130,000 hush payment, after which his reimbursement to Cohen was falsely logged in the Trump Organization’s records, according to prosecutors.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, met with prosecutors Wednesday over Zoom after former Trump advisers Hope Hicks, Kellyanne Conway and several other witnesses testified recently.
Prosecutors also invited Trump last week to testify in the probe — the clearest indication yet that they’re nearing a decision on whether to indict him.
No current or former U.S. president has even been indicted for criminal conduct.
ABC News’ Aaron Katersky contributed to this report.
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