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An investigation targeting Donald Trump | Michael Cohen testifies before a grand jury in New York

(NEW YORK) A former lawyer for Donald Trump turned one of his worst enemies, Michael Cohen, testified Monday before a New York grand jury in an investigation into bribery of a pornographic actress, in which the former US president faces indictment.

If decided, the criminal charge would be the first for a former president of the United States and a thorn in Donald Trump’s side on his way back to the White House after the 2024 presidential election.

Michael Cohen told several media upon his arrival in court that Donald Trump “must be held accountable for his foolishness”, saying he wanted to “tell the truth” and not “revenge”.

Contacted by AFP, his lawyer Lanny Davis confirmed that his client was “questioned by a grand jury,” a citizen panel with broad investigative powers.

Michael Cohen was set to testify in the investigation into the $130,000 he paid in 2016 to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels — Stephanie Clifford from her real name — to buy her silence about an alleged affair she allegedly had with Donald Trump.

PHOTO MARKUS SCHREIBER, linked press archives

Stormy Daniels

The push was made two weeks before the presidential election, which was won by the Republican against the Democrat, Hillary Clinton.

The former lawyer had been sentenced, after his guilty plea, to three years in prison in particular for having arranged these payments in violation of campaign finance laws. He confirmed that he acted at the express request of the Republican candidate, who was going to replace him once he reached the White House.

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last Thursday The New York Times and the Washington Post It revealed that the Manhattan district attorney’s office had also called Donald Trump to testify before the grand jury, which could mean the indictment is close to the former president.

According to The New York Times, Donald Trump may be charged with misdemeanor accounting misrepresentation for concealing payment to Stormy Daniels.

Those charges could get heavier and become criminal if prosecutors consider the offense was intended to conceal a violation of campaign finance rules, they explained. The New York Times.

After the two newspaper revelations, Donald Trump on Thursday denounced on the Truth Social Network a “political witch hunt aimed at bringing down the front-runner, [et ce] by far, from the Republican Party” in the 2024 presidential primaries.

“I never had a relationship with Stormy Daniels,” added Donald Trump, who has been targeted in other court cases but has never filed criminal charges.