President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney allegedly asked his lawyer to contact the President’s lawyers about the possibility of obtaining a pardon, The Hill writes.
Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis said Wednesday that Cohen had directed his former lawyer Stephen Ryan to inquire about a possible pardon after the FBI raided his hotel room, office and home last spring.
“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,” Davis told the Wall Street Journal, which previously reported that Ryan had discussed the matter with Trump’s lawyers.
According to Davis, Giuliani left open the possibility that Trump could grant Cohen a future pardon. Giuliani himself confirmed Wednesday that he had been approached about a possible presidential pardon.
“I always give the same answer which is, ‘The president is not going to consider any pardons at this time, and nobody should think that he is,’” Giuliani said.
He did not explicitly say whether he was contacted by Cohen’s attorney but added that it is possible “ones representing Cohen” were among those who had approached him about a Trump pardon.
During his testimony before the House Oversight Committee last week, Cohen denied ever asking for a pardon by Trump, a statement Davis echoed on Wednesday.
“After July 2, 2018, Mr. Cohen authorized me as a new lawyer to say publicly Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from President Trump even if offered. That continues to be the case,” he said. “His statement at the Oversight Hearing was true—and consistent with his post-joint defense agreement commitment to tell the truth.”
The discussion regarding a possible presidential pardon took place while Ryan was working with Trump’s lawyers to review files seized by the FBI from Cohen’s premises to determine whether they were protected by attorney-client privilege.
Document requests by the House Judiciary Committee signal that congressional investigators are looking into conversations between lawyers for Cohen and the President about possible pardons, the Journal adds.