Major Development Occurs in Trump Arrest Saga, Identity of Surprise Witness Revealed

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Is Trump getting arrested on Tuesday or not? Things seemed all but certain when the former president put out a post on Saturday affirmatively saying that was going to happen. In it, he also called for people to take to the streets and protest the Manhattan District Attorney targeting him. The implication was that his attorneys had already been notified.

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By that evening, another all-caps post was put out by Trump, again seeming to confirm his tenuous position and what was coming. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, news dropped that greatly muddied the waters. According to Redstate’s reporting, the indictment hasn’t technically been voted on.

That’s because a surprise witness is coming in on Monday to give last-minute testimony to the grand jury. Further, building on past reporting, we now know who that surprise witness is. Trump has responded to the development pretty much as you’d expect.

Who is this witness? According to Insider (the site that initially broke the news of the indictment not being final), it’s Robert Costello, who has represented Steve Bannon and Rudy Giuliani.

Monday’s surprise grand jury witness in the New York “hush-money” investigation into Donald Trump is Giuliani lawyer Robert Costello, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed to Insider.

Star prosecution witness Michael Cohen is also making himself available Monday, in case Manhattan prosecutors decide to call him before the grand jury to give rebuttal testimony, Cohen told Insider.

News that as many as two witnesses — Costello and Cohen — may now need to testify before the grand jury can vote provides new clues to the timing for any indictment.

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Trump claims that Costello, who he calls a “highly-respected lawyer,” has “conclusive and irrefutable” proof that should put him in the clear. What that actually amounts to is anyone’s guess. Trump is obviously going to say that regardless, and the nature of Costello’s relationship with Trump’s orbit is going to complicate his credibility. But if he has documentation or something otherwise concrete, perhaps he could turn the entire grand jury on its head.

Besides, Michael Cohen is not without his own credibility issues, being a convicted felon and someone with an obvious ax to grind. The cornerstone of his claim will rest on the audio recording of Trump he provided showing the former president ordering the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

But that doesn’t prove that Trump ordered the payment to be misclassified (which is the “crime” here). If the grand jury hearing turns into a he said, she said between Costello and Cohen, things might come to standstill. That would be a very good thing for the former president.

The other thing being revealed here is the timeline. The grand jury meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The testimony alone on Monday will probably eat up all their time. Then they have to come back and begin deliberations (much like a regular jury) before voting on how to proceed. In other words, Tuesday probably won’t be the day all this gets settled, and we could see it drag out well into the end of the week, if not further.

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Are we looking at the head-fake scenario I mentioned in my previous posts on this topic? I’d say the odds are still against Trump walking away without a legal fight, but these latest developments paint a different picture than the one he painted Saturday morning.

Regardless, everyone on the right should take a breath and wait this out. There is no sense in lashing out and giving the left the ammunition it wants. Let’s see what the vote on the indictment holds. Once all the facts are on the table, there’ll be time to figure out the next move.

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