Donald Trump‘s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen told journalists outside a Manhattan courthouse Monday that the ex-president “needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds,” as Cohen arrived to testify to a grand jury probing Trump, NBC News reported.
“My goal is to tell the truth,” said Cohen, the key witness in the investigation into the hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual tryst with Trump.
Cohen served for years as Trump’s attorney. He paid Daniels $130,000 on the eve of the 2016 election, and was Trump’s company later reimbursed him for the payment.
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 has declined the offer to testify to the same grand jury, his lawyer said Monday.
Such an offer is common shortly before prosecutors seek indictments against the people extended the chance to testify.
Cohen told reporters that his goal in providing evidence against Trump “is not revenge.”
“This is all about accountability. He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds,” Cohen said.
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” based on what Trump called a “Scam” led by Daniels, Cohen and Daniels’ ex-attorney Michael Avenatti, who is serving a federal prison sentence for defrauding clients.
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