Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former attorney, and currently the Democrats’ star witness, directed his lawyer last spring to ask the White House about a presidential pardon, contradicting his sworn testimony to Congress last week, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday evening.
“I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr. Trump,” Cohen said in his prepared testimony before the House Oversight Committee on February 27.
Earlier this week, the WSJ reported that Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan had approached President Trump’s legal team about a pardon following the FBI raids of his home and office last April.
According to longtime Clinton confidant Lanny Davis, Cohen’s current lawyer, that outreach came at Cohen’s request.
“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 WSJ, calling the discussions the “ongoing dangling of a possible pardon.”
All of the president’s attorney’s except for former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani publicly dismissed the possibility of a pardon.
Davis tried to claim that Cohen was referring to the time period “after July 2, 2018” after which he would reject a presidential pardon, but in his testimony, Cohen clearly said he had “never” asked for one.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) March 7, 2019
“The defense now to Cohen saying under oath he NEVER asked for a pardon is a familiar one; What’s The Meaning of Never. Serial liars often try the same deception too often,” Giuliani scoffed in a tweet Thursday. “Let’s hope Congress and DOJ are outraged at Cohen’s disrespecting them by perjuring himself repeatedly.”
The defense now to Cohen saying under oath he NEVER asked for a pardon is a familiar one; What’s The Meaning of Never. Serial liars often try the same deception too often. Let’s hope Congress and DOJ are outraged at Cohen’s disrespecting them by perjuring himself repeatedly.
— Rudy W. Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) March 7, 2019
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: “So when he was shut down looking for a pardon, he figured he could save his ass by telling weasel Adam Schiff whatever he wanted to hear?” He added that he hoped someone would look into the perjury and investigate Rep. Schiff’s alleged leaks.
Last Thursday, House Oversight Committee Ranking Members Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) referred Cohen to the Justice Department for making a series of intentionally false statements during his public testimony the day before.
His false statement about asking for a pardon is just one more to add to the list.