Lanny Davis says Michael Cohen directed previous lawyer to seek Trump pardon

March 7, 2019

Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen directed his lawyer to ask the White House about a presidential pardon, contradicting his sworn testimony to Congress, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday evening.

The Journal had previously reported that Stephen Ryan, Mr. Cohen’s attorney when he was the target of several FBI raids last April, had approached President Trump’s legal team about a pardon.

But Lanny Davis, Cohen’s current lawyer, told the Journal that this had happened 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,” Mr. Davis told the Journal, calling the discussions the “ongoing ‘dangling’ of a possible pardon.”

That would flatly contradict what Cohen told Congress just last week, a time when he is supposed to be cooperating with authorities to get a lesser sentence.

“I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr. Trump,” Cohen told the House Oversight Committee, the Journal reported.

While most of the president’s attorneys had publicly dismissed the possibility of a pardon, one of them, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said he would keep the door ajar.