AP NEWS

Michael Cohen’s lawyer sought a presidential pardon after FBI raid: Report

March 5, 2019

Michael Cohen’s lawyer discussed a potential pardon with attorneys for President Trump last year after the FBI raided his home and office, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Those talks are now part of a sweeping investigation by House Democrats, which subpoenaed 81 people and entities close to the president on Monday.

Both sides discussed the possible pardon as Cohen’s then-attorney Stephen Ryan and Mr. Trump’s legal team worked together to determine if files seized by the government were protected by attorney-client privilege, The Journal reported.

Members of Mr. Trump’s legal team including Jay Sekulow, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Joanna Hendon dismissed the idea although Mr. Giuliani was open to the president pardoning Cohen in the future, according to the report.

“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,’ ” Mr. Giuliani told The Journal.

The Journal also reported that Mr. Ryan also raised the issue of a pardon to Alan Feuterfas, an outside lawyer who represents the Trump Organization, and the company general counsel, Alan Garten. Mr. Ryan signaled that Cohen would be more willing to cooperate with prosecutors if a pardon wasn’t in the works, the Journal reported.

In testimony before Congress last week, Cohen said he never requested a pardon from the president.

“I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump,” Cohen testified publicly at the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.

Cohen will begin a three-year prison sentence in May after he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2017 and committing campaign finance violations while he was working for Mr. Trump.