The Wall Street Journal reports:
Michael Cohen, a former lawyer for President Trump, directed his attorney last spring to inquire about the possibility of a presidential pardon, weeks after federal agents raided his properties, Mr. Cohen’s lawyer said Wednesday, apparently contradicting his testimony before a House committee last week.
Lanny Davis, a lawyer for Mr. Cohen, said Wednesday that in the months after the FBI raid, Mr. Cohen was open to a pardon from the president. “During that time period, he directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump,” Mr. Davis said.
The New York Post reports:
The discussion of a pardon was broached by Cohen’s lawyer at the time, Stephen Ryan, who spoke with Trump’s attorneys in the months after the raid. The joint defense agreement, which allowed lawyers for Trump and Cohen to share information, ended in July 2018.
The revelation about Cohen appears to conflict with his statement to the House Oversight Committee last week. “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr. Trump,” Cohen told the committee.
ABC News reports:
Davis added that Cohen also stands by his testimony, citing the time frame. Cohen, at the time, was part of a joint defense agreement with the president and many of his advisers. Davis pointed to nuances in Cohen’s testimony last week, including the language used in asking the question.
“But the sentence was also literally true,” Davis argued. “[Cohen] never asked President Trump for a pardon. His lawyer explored the disingenuous ‘dangle’ repeatedly floated by Rudy and Trump in one meeting and never followed up.”
“Cohen has been privately saying that a pardon was dangled to him -in some sort of oblique fashion, language was vague- and this is something that he has been discussing with the Southern District of New York.” -Vanity Fair’s Emily Jane Fox pic.twitter.com/HA4lXc5tUE
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) March 7, 2019
Lanny Davis says Cohen was open to a pardon from Trump after the FBI raid and directed his lawyer to seek one. In July, when he publicly broke w/Trump, Cohen directed Davis to say he would “never accept a pardon from President Trump even if offered.” https://t.co/CUJfnugHhI
— Rebecca Ballhaus (@rebeccaballhaus) March 7, 2019
Giuliani is dismissive of the Cohen/Davis view of “dangled” and says the Trump legal team wasn’t dangling anything pardon-wise during JDA, but acknowledges having conversations where the topic of pardons was discussed.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) March 7, 2019
Congressman Cummings said he would make sure there would be terrible consequences if Cohen perjured himself in his latest public testimony. Now at least three perjuries; never asked for pardon, never sought a government job and represented foreign entities.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) March 7, 2019