Michael Cohen tells Republicans 'think twice' as he finished testifying to a Manhattan grand jury that's expected to consider if Trump should face charges
- Michael Cohen finished his testimony to a grand jury that may decide to charge Donald Trump.
- Cohen said Trump ordered him to make illegal 'hush-money' payments days before the 2016 election.
Michael Cohen finished testifying Wednesday before the Manhattan grand jury that may indict Donald Trump — and on his way out, he warned Republicans to "think twice" about supporting the former president.
Cohen is expected to be the last witness to testify before the panel as the Manhattan district attorney's office appears to move closer to winning an indictment of Trump.
Outside the Lower Manhattan building where the grand jury meets, Cohen told reporters he hopes the American people "see fit" to call Trump out "for the things that he's doing, the things that he says."
"At the end of the day, Donald Trump needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds, if in fact that's the way that the facts play out," Cohen said, adding that the case is about "holding accountability, truth to power, and everything in between."
He also said he'd "prefer somebody else" over Trump for the GOP 2024 presidential nominee.
When asked what his message to the Republican party is, Cohen said: "Think twice."
Cohen alleges that Trump approved illegal "hush-money" payments to adult actress Stormy Daniels made just days before the 2016 election. In response, Trump has repeatedly denied the payments were illegal, insisting as recently as this week that he "did absolutely nothing wrong."
Cohen began his testimony on Monday, telling reporters in his way inside that he felt "a little twisted, to be honest, inside," to finally tell his story to a grand jury.
Cohen has estimated he has spent some 400 hours over the last five years, being interviewed about Trump's finances by federal and state prosecutors, the New York attorney general's office and even the Mueller investigation.
But he had never before testified before a grand jury, not until Monday and Wednesday afternoon.
"My goal is to tell the truth. My goal is to allow Alvin Bragg and his team to do what they need to do. I'm just here to answer the questions," Cohen told reporters on his way inside on Monday.
In 2018, federal prosecutors called the $130,000 payment to Daniels an illegal Trump campaign expense that was authorized by Trump himself.
The grand jury has spent two months is hearing evidence on whether the payment violates New York election and document laws.
If Trump is indicted over the payment, he will be the first ex-president to face criminal charges.
When reporters asked Cohen on Monday if he wanted to see Trump arrested, Cohen disagreed, saying: "You've heard me say this many times my goal — this is not revenge, right?
"What this is is about accountability. I don't want to see anyone, including Donald Trump indicted, prosecuted, convicted, incarcerated, simply because I fundamentally disagree with them.
"This is all about accountability," he added. "He needs to be held accountable for his dirty deeds."
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