Trump claims Cohen asked for pardon; Cohen denies it

Trump claims Cohen asked for pardon; Cohen denies it

Michael Cohen testified last month before the House Oversight Committee in an open hearing in which he blasted his former boss. (Pool photo)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump claimed Friday that Michael Cohen, his former “fixer” and personal attorney, directly asked him for a pardon.

Before posting the Tweet, Trump told reporters at the White House that he had more information on Cohen, but was not yet ready to share it.

“His lawyers 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 do it now.”

During open testimony before the House Oversight Committee last month, Cohen said he had never attempted to secure a pardon.

“I have never asked for it, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump,” Cohen said.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week, however, that Cohen had asked his attorneys to pursue one.

Cohen denied the president’s claim on Twitter Friday, saying it was “just another set of lies.”

Last November, Cohen pleaded guilty to one count of lying to Congress, acknowledging he misled lawmakers about a planned Trump Tower project in Moscow.

Six months earlier, Cohen pleaded guilty to two campaign finance violations for payments he arranged for two women in exchange for their silence over alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen told prosecutors that he delivered the payments at the behest of the then-candidate.

On Dec. 12, 2018, a federal judge sentenced Cohen to three years in prison for his crimes and also fined him $2 million. Cohen was scheduled to report to federal prison on March 6 but a judge postponed the sentence to begin in May so that Cohen would have more time to arrange testimony as well as recover from shoulder surgery.

Cohen filed a $2 million lawsuit against the Trump Organization Thursday, claiming that they had promised to cover legal fees springing from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

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