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Robert Costello Testimony Sparks Dramatic Courtroom Clash in Trump Trial

New York, NY — The courtroom buzzed with tension and high drama on Monday as Robert Costello, a lawyer who once advised Michael Cohen, took the stand in the ongoing trial involving former President Donald Trump. Costello’s testimony, marked by contentious exchanges and a judge’s rebuke, provided a vivid and dramatic scene as the defense began presenting its case.

Costello, who testified that Michael Cohen was “suicidal” during a meeting in April 2018, was called to the stand by Trump’s defense team to contradict Cohen’s earlier testimony. Cohen, a former Trump ally turned adversary, had previously stated that Trump was aware of the $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Costello, however, insisted that Cohen repeatedly claimed Trump had no knowledge of the payments.

“Michael Cohen said numerous times that President Trump knew nothing about those payments. That he did this on his own. He repeated that numerous times,” Costello testified, challenging the credibility of Cohen’s accusations against Trump.

The atmosphere in the courtroom grew increasingly heated as Costello visibly reacted to Judge Juan Merchan’s rulings. After the judge sustained several objections from prosecutor Susan Hoffinger, Costello audibly expressed his frustration, muttering “ridiculous” and “Jesus!” These outbursts led to a confrontation with Judge Merchan, who paused the proceedings to lecture Costello on courtroom decorum.

“If you don’t like my ruling, you don’t give me side eye and you don’t roll your eyes,” Judge Merchan admonished, adding, “Are you staring me down?” The judge then ordered the courtroom cleared before eventually allowing everyone back in, signaling a rare and intense moment in the trial.

Prosecutor Hoffinger, set to continue her cross-examination of Costello on Tuesday, questioned the credibility of Costello’s testimony by probing into his interactions with Cohen. Hoffinger highlighted discrepancies and sought to challenge Costello’s recollection of events, aiming to undermine his narrative that Cohen acted independently in the hush money payments.

During the cross-examination, Hoffinger pressed Costello about an email chain involving his partner Jeff Citron and Cohen. Costello acknowledged that he attended the meeting with Cohen at Citron’s request, as Citron, primarily a real estate lawyer, sought Costello’s criminal defense expertise.

CNN chief legal correspondent Paula Reid commented on the courtroom events, expressing shock at Costello’s behavior. Reid noted that Costello’s conduct might jeopardize the defense’s efforts, potentially undermining the case they have meticulously built over the past week. “The fact that Costello would conduct himself in a trial like this, potentially jeopardizing a case like this, I am actually pretty surprised,” Reid said.

Reid, who has known Costello for a decade, underscored the unusual nature of his actions, given his extensive legal experience and high-profile involvement in past cases. She emphasized that Costello’s outbursts and the judge’s rebuke could have significant repercussions for Trump’s defense.

The trial resumes on Tuesday, he continues to face Hoffinger’s cross-examination. The defense has indicated they do not plan to call any further witnesses, suggesting that Costello’s testimony is crucial to their strategy.

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