Former federal prosecutor Robert Costello testified Wednesday before Congress that disgraced lawyer Michael Cohen—the star witness in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump—told him he had “nothing truthful” implicating Trump in a crime.

Costello, who advised Cohen when he became the subject of an investigation by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, told the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government that Cohen is now on a “revenge tour” against Trump and lacks credibility. His testimony challenges claims Cohen made on the witness stand during Trump’s Manhattan trial.


Cohen testified Monday that Trump both directed him to pay for a nondisclosure agreement with porn star Stormy Daniels and approved of the plan to reimburse him for the payment, which underlies the the charges of falsifying business records at the center of Bragg’s case.

Cohen testified Tuesday that Costello told him he could set up “back-channel” communications with Trump through his friend, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and the jury saw emails the two exchanged in which Costello suggested he could relay messages to Trump.

Cohen claimed that he never told Costello “the truth” about Trump’s involvement in the Daniels payment because he did not believe Costello could be trusted.

However, Costello told the House subcommittee Wednesday that he advised Cohen in 2018 that he could “get him out of his legal troubles by the end of the week” if the former Trump lawyer had truthful information implicating Trump. But, Costello testified, Cohen told him he didn’t have anything.

“I swear to God, Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump,” Costello said Cohen repeatedly told him.

“Throughout this two-hour interview, Michael Cohen made clear that this payment to Daniels was his own idea, designed to try and get him back into the inner circle of Trump people in Washington,” Costello testified.

“Now, after going to jail, Michael Cohen is on a revenge tour because he blames Donald Trump for the loss of his law license and the fact that he did go to jail,” Costello said. “The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York saw this and acted properly. The Manhattan district attorney took a different route to become famous and to ‘get’ Trump.”

Costello also spoke more broadly to “lawfare” against Trump, stating that he has “never seen the types of politically motivated cases that have been brought in this presidential election season” in his 51 years as a lawyer:

Understand that to destroy a political rival, you need not convict that person of a crime, all you must do is leak the fact that the individual is being investigated for a particular crime, thereby destroying his or her reputation and causing that individual to incur legal fees to defend themselves. The net result is, if you can destroy their reputation and bankrupt them with legal fees, you have effectively eliminated or cancelled your opposition without ever convicting them of a crime or getting a civil judgment against them.

Cohen is set to take the stand again Thursday to continue cross-examination by Trump’s defense team.

Originally published by the Daily Caller News Foundation