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Robert Costello Admonished by Judge Merchan During Trump Trial



Robert Costello Admonished by Judge Merchan During Trump Trial

Donald Trump’s Manhattan legal hush cash trial was briefly thrown into chaos on Monday when Decide Juan Juan Merchan ordered the courtroom cleared so as to gown down a combative witness. 

Robert Costello, a lawyer and former adviser to Michael Cohen, testified on behalf of Trump’s protection in a tense interrogation and cross-examination by the previous president’s attorneys and state prosecutors. All through his testimony, Costello was visibly aggravated by the prosecution’s objections to traces of questioning leveled by Trump’s attorneys. At one level, Costello was heard saying “jeez” in response to Decide Merchan’s sustaining of 1 such objection. 

“I’m sorry?” Merchan requested Costello, who turned purple within the face and mumbled “ridiculous” earlier than his testimony resumed. 

The strain within the courtroom exploded after Costello seemingly rolled his eyes at considered one of Merchan’s rulings. The choose admonished Costello, ordering the jury out of the room to “talk about correct decorum within the courtroom” with Costello. 

“For those who don’t like my ruling you don’t say ‘jeez,’ you don’t say ‘strike it’ as a result of I’m the one one who can strike testimony in courtroom,” Merchan mentioned. “You don’t give me aspect eye and also you don’t roll your eyes,” he added, earlier than elevating his voice and asking Costello if he was “staring me down proper now.”

The change prompted Merchan to have the courtroom cleared solely of the press and different observers. Court docket workers moved to take away these current — with the notable exception of Trump’s Republican friends — in a loud flurry as reporters raised objections to their ouster.

Trump ranted to reporters in regards to the incident after courtroom was dismissed. “You noticed what occurred to a extremely revered lawyer at this time, Bob Costello,” he mentioned. “Wow. I’ve by no means seen something like that. Extremely revered.”

The comment could have been in violation of Trump’s gag order, which prohibits him from discussing witnesses.

Eric Trump, the previous president’s son who was current in courtroom on Monday, tweeted shortly after the change between Merchan and Costello that “the judges therapy of Bob Costello is actually disgraceful – he won’t enable him to inform his story – the identical story he advised Congress – as he is aware of will probably be devastating and finish this sham trial.”

Earlier than Costello was sworn in, Assistant District Lawyer Susan Hoffinger efficiently petitioned to restrict the scope of what Trump’s protection legal professional Emil Bove may ask Costello. Throughout his testimony, Costello struggled to maintain his solutions to questions succinct, and after lower than an hour, Merchan dismissed the courtroom for the day. 

As Costello grew an increasing number of bewildered with every objection, he first started to pout his face earlier than ultimately turning his physique to stare at Merchan. It was then that Merchan requested to clear the room to instruct Costello on correct decorum.


Prosecutors closed their arguments on Monday with the conclusion of Cohen’s testimony, who mentioned he first met Costello for authorized recommendation after federal brokers raided his residence, lodge, and legislation workplace in April 2018. Cohen quickly discovered simply how shut Costello was to Trump due to their mutual connection of Rudy Giuliani, and testified that every thing he advised Costello was a lie. 

Costello is the second witness Trump’s protection group has introduced in to refute Cohen’s testimony. Though the protection has not dominated out Trump testifying, Costello’s cross-examination and redirect are anticipated to conclude tomorrow morning, and Decide Merchan has suggested each counsels he expects to dismiss jurors tomorrow earlier than summations start subsequent week.

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