Jonathan Turley Says Calling ‘Kill-Shot Witness’ Bob Costello Was ‘Not Worth Doing’ In Trump Trial

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said on Monday that he would not have called Michael Cohen’s former legal adviser to testify in the Manhattan trial of former President Donald Trump.

Trump’s attorneys called Bob Costello to the stand after prosecutors for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg rested their case Monday following the conclusion of testimony by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen. Turley, who described himself as “risk-averse,” said that he had felt calling Costello was something “not worth doing” despite his bombshell testimony before a House subcommittee Wednesday in which he said Cohen offered no “truthful” evidence against Trump.


“I thought there was an interesting line of questions coming from the defense,” Turley told Fox News host Martha MacCallum, referring to posts he made on X as he observed the trial Monday morning. “It seemed to me like they were laying the foundation to call Costello because the biggest problem with calling Costello is there’s an email which refers to Giuliani wanting to create a back-channel to Cohen.”

“That meant that if you called Costello, that would open that aspect of the case to prosecutors,” Turley continued. “Many of us felt that was not worth doing. I think they waited to see how that went on examination with Cohen. I think they felt comfortable that they could blunt that with the prosecutors.”

Turley said that Trump’s attorneys did not need to call any witnesses since he felt they had made their case.

“I’m one of those risk-averse defense attorneys,” Turley told MacCallum. “If I think I’ve won a case, I’m going to stop and I think they’ve won this case. The problem is that this is not an ordinary case. So, my view is even if there was a conviction, it would have to be overturned at this point, but this is a man running for president.”


“Quite frankly, Costello is a kill-shot witness,” Turley continued. “You only call him if you want to ‘kill-shot’ a trial that you feel that you need to make sure it doesn’t result in a conviction even though I think it’s going very well for the defense.”

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