Judge Merchan Erupts at Pro-Trump Witness Robert Costello, Abruptly Clears the Courtroom

by J Pelkey
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On Monday, President Trump returned to a Manhattan court for Alvin Bragg’s garbage “hush money” trial.

Earlier in the day, the prosecution presented their “star witness,” Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer, to testify.

Cohen stunned the public by admitting that he stole tens of thousands of dollars from Trump and lied to Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.

After the prosecution rested their case, Trump’s defense team called Robert Costello, a former advisor to Michael Cohen who has spoken publicly about his former client’s lack of credibility, to the witness stand.

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Crooked Judge Merchan chastised Costello and abruptly cleared the courtroom, leaving jurors in the dark and attendees in disbelief.

During questioning by Trump’s legal team, Costello became visibly frustrated as Alvin Bragg’s prosecutors repeatedly interrupted him, prompting him to raise his voice. This behavior drew the ire of Judge Merchan, who then ordered the jury out of the room and engaged in a tense staring match with Costello.

More from the Daily Beast on the heated exchange:

After Costello, a former prosecutor, was reprimanded for delivering outbursts in the court whenever he was interrupted or told not to answer a question that had been objected to and sustained, Costello began to stare down the judge.

“Mr. Costello, I’d like to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom, OK?” Judge Juan Merchan said after ordering the jury out of the room.

“Right,” Costello replied.

Merchan then told Costello that witnesses on the stand cannot act out if they don’t like a judge’s ruling.

“I’m the only one who can strike testimony in the courtroom. If you don’t like my ruling, you don’t give me side-eye and you don’t roll your eyes. Do you understand that?”

“I understand that,” Costello replied.

But then, when Merchan had turned around, he saw that Costello was staring straight at him again. “Are you staring me down right now?” he asked.

At that, he ordered security to seal the courtroom and all journalists to leave so he could give Costello a dressing down.


Merchan then tried to get Costello to shorten his answers and stop diving into lengthy narratives about his interactions with Cohen that were clearly intended to cast doubt on the man.

“Listen to the question and answer the question,” Merchan said.

But Costello remained insistent.

“Can I say something, please?” he interjected.

“No. No. This is not a conversation,” the judge stated.

Costello concluded his testimony with a story about Cohen’s suicidal state after the FBI raided his home shortly before he was charged.

“He was suicidal that day and acting very manic,” Costello recalled. “I explained to Michael Cohen that this entire legal problem he was facing would be resolved by the end of the week if he had truthful information on Donald Trump and cooperated with the Southern District of New York.”

Costello told jurors that Cohen responded, “I swear to God, Bob, I don’t have anything on Donald Trump.” As he finished this sentence, Costello blinked twice and looked directly at Bove with a blank expression.

“Michael Cohen said numerous times that President Trump knew nothing about those payments, that he did this on his own, and he repeated that numerous times,” Costello testified.

Trump’s team believes Costello is crucial for casting doubt on Cohen, who is the prosecution’s “star witness” and also a serial liar and a thief.

Jurors are expected to begin deliberations as soon as this week after closing arguments.

Judge Juan Merchan is a disgrace.

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