Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for former President Donald Trump, is set to testify Monday to a grand jury in New York City, setting the stage for a potential indictment of Trump, Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis said Friday.
Trump is being investigated by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment Cohen made on his behalf to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about her alleged sexual liaison with Trump years earlier.
Cohen on Friday met for more than seven hours with officials from the DA Alvin Bragg’s office with his attorney Davis.
“Mr. Cohen has met with the Manhattan DA 20 times, and is impressed with Mr. Bragg’s careful and meticulous approach,” Davis told CNBC.
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After that session, Cohen said he would no longer be making public statements about the case. Cohen is scheduled to testify before the grand jury on Monday afternoon.
The meeting came a day after The New York Times reported that Trump had been offered the chance to testify to the grand jury, an offer typically extended to the expected targets of criminal prosecutions.
If Trump is charged in the case, he would become the first American president, former or otherwise, to face criminal charges.
A lawyer for Trump, Joseph Tacopina, scoffed in an interview Friday with CNBC at the idea of the former president being charged.
Tacopina noted that Trump has denied having sex with Daniels. And the attorney said that Trump was the target of extortion by Daniels, and decided to pay her to resolve the “nuisance” of her demand for her silence shortly before the election.
Trump is currently seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.