Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s reported criminal case against former President Donald Trump may have been thrown off this week after a lawyer in Trump’s orbit testified, said retired Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.
Dershowitz appeared in a Fox News interview Tuesday and speculated that Costell’s testimony may have significantly altered the trajectory of the case. The former Harvard Law professor who has represented a number of controversial figures like O.J. Simpson isn’t involved in Trump’s legal defense team but has frequently opined on the constitutionality of the DA’s investigation.
Costello’s testimony against former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, Dershowitz claimed, could have been a “game-changer” for Trump. The former president has made similar assertions on his Truth Social website, claiming Tuesday night that the district attorney’s office is scrambling to find additional witnesses in the case.
“I think that Bragg now only has two possible results from that. Number one, he can say, ‘alright, I’m going to try to make the case without Cohen.’ He cannot use Cohen as a witness anymore. That would be unethical because of the testimony that Costello gave,” Dershowitz told Fox News. “Or he could say, ‘look, I have to drop the case.’ He may not be able to make it without Cohen. But if he can’t make it without Cohen, he can’t make it, because no ethical prosecutor is allowed to put on as a witness somebody who has told the lies and has contradicted himself so much.”
He was referring to testimony provided by Costello, a former prosecutor who has represented Rudy Giuliani, to the grand jury on Monday in connection to a $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels in 2016. In a news conference, Costello said he attempted to damage Cohen’s testimony and said he should not be considered a credible witness in the Trump case.
The alleged Trump payment to Daniels was organized by Cohen, who served time in federal prison for tax evasion and other charges, to allegedly keep Daniels quiet about an alleged affair between her and Trump. But Trump has repeatedly denied that any affair occurred and said Cohen tried to extort him.