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Trump claims Michael Cohen asked him ‘directly’ for pardon

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President Trump said Friday that Michael Cohen “directly” asked him for a pardon and that he turned him down — contradicting what his former lawyer and fixer told a House committee.

“Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he never asked for a Pardon. His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied!” the president tweeted.

“Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again! He also badly wanted to work at the White House. He lied!”

Cohen, who is heading to prison for lying to Congress, told the House Oversight Committee last week: “I have never asked for it, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.”

Trump’s tweet came shortly after he slammed Cohen at the White House, where he teased his new claim in comments to reporters on the South Lawn before leaving for Alabama to survey the tornado damage.

“His [Cohen’s] lawyer said that they went to my lawyers and asked for pardons,” Trump said. “And I can go a step above that but I won’t go to it now.”

The president said Cohen — who one said he’d “take a bullet for the president” but has since turned against him — told a “stone cold” lie in his statement before the committee.

This week, Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis said his client had entertained the possibility of a pardon as part of a joint defense agreement Cohen had with Trump after Cohen’s office was raided almost a year ago.

“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 said in a statement.

The discussion of a pardon was broached by Cohen’s lawyer at the time, Stephen Ryan, who spoke with the president’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.

Davis said the pardon was “dangled” by Team Trump and that Cohen’s statement to the committee was truthful.

“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,” Davis said Wednesday.

“His statement at the Oversight Hearing was true — and consistent with his post-joint defense agreement commitment to tell the truth.”

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for a variety of crimes, including campaign finance violations.



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