Michael Cohen, President Trump's former personal lawyer, directed his attorney to ask President Trump for a pardon last Spring after federal agents raided his offices. The news comes just days after Cohen appeared before a House committee, during which he testified that he had not inquired about the possibility of a pardon.
"I have never asked for it, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump," Cohen told the House panel in his opening statement last week.
However, new information has come to light indicating that Cohen had asked his attorney, Steven Ryan, to explore the possibility of a pardon with Rudy Giuliani shortly after an FBI raid on Cohen’s properties in the Summer of 2018.
According to Cohen’s spokesman, Lanny Davis, the President’s disgraced lawyer stands by his testimony from last week.
"Prior to Michael Cohen's decision to leave the 'Joint Defense Group' and tell the truth on July 2, 2018, Michael was open to the ongoing 'dangling' of a possible pardon by Trump representatives privately and in the media," Davis said. "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."
Cohen later left the Joint Defense group. Davis stressed that Cohen’s departure signaled an end to his interest in a presidential pardon.
"But 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," Davis said, adding, "That continues to be the case."
As a result, Cohen’s statement to the House was “literally true,” Davis added. “[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 pleaded guilty to charges including lying to Congress, campaign finance violations, and tax fraud last year. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison as a result.
His term begins on May 6th.