NY Attorney Says Feds Probing His Pardon Talks With Cohen - NBC4 Washington
President Donald Trump

President Donald Trump

The latest news on President Donald Trump's presidency

NY Attorney Says Feds Probing His Pardon Talks With Cohen

Attorneys for Trump and Cohen have offered dueling versions of events about the pardon talks

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Trump, Cohen Accuse Each Other of Lying Over Pardon

    President Donald Trump and his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, accused each other of lying over whether Cohen had ever sought a pardon from Trump. Cohen testified to Congress that he hadn’t, but Trump insisted that Cohen did.

    (Published Friday, March 8, 2019)

    Federal prosecutors have requested copies of communications Michael Cohen had with a New York attorney who broached the possibility of a pardon from President Donald Trump, the attorney said Wednesday.

    The attorney, Robert J. Costello, released a statement disputing Cohen's claim that Trump "dangled" a presidential pardon in front of Cohen before he began cooperating with federal prosecutors and special counsel Robert Mueller.

    "We have documents to back our position up, and are preparing to provide these to the U.S. Attorney's office, who has asked for them," Costello said in the statement. The statement referred to Cohen's account of the pardon discussions as "utter nonsense."

    Federal prosecutors requested emails and documents from Costello last week amid an investigation into "possible violations of federal criminal law," The New York Times reported Wednesday, citing a copy of the request.

    ‘President Has Been Clear That There Wasn’t a Campaign Violation’: Sanders

    [NATL] ‘President Has Been Clear That There Wasn’t a Campaign Violation’: Sanders

    White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday addressed questions about President Donald Trump’s alleged $35,000 payment to Michael Cohen while in office.

    (Published Monday, March 11, 2019)

    The U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan declined to comment.

    Attorneys for Trump and Cohen have offered dueling versions of events about the pardon talks and whether Cohen misled a congressional committee during testimony last month. Trump last week called Cohen, his former personal attorney, a liar and alleged in a tweet that Cohen "directly asked" for a pardon.

    Costello, in an interview with CNN Wednesday, said it was Cohen who raised the specter of a pardon, and said he brought the matter up with Trump's legal team even though he thought it was premature at the time. Costello was not retained by Cohen but had several conversations with him after the FBI raided Cohen's home and office last April.

    Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed that Costello, a former federal prosecutor, reached out to him after the raid.

    "My answer was the president is not going to consider or give any pardons now," Giuliani told The Associated Press. "As I have said in the past, the president has the right to, and that doesn't mean he won't consider it when the investigation is over."

    Costello did not respond to repeated messages from The Associated Press.

    Democrats Divided Over Trump Impeachment

    [NATL] Democrats Divided Over Trump Impeachment

    Democrats are divided over whether to impeach President Donald Trump for obstructing the investigation into Russia interfering in the 2016 election. Some Democrats think there's already enough evidence to impeach President Trump, while others say it's a futile move without Republican buy-in.

    (Published Tuesday, April 23, 2019)

    Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, declined to comment.

    Costello's remarks came a day after Cohen's lawyers sent a letter to the House Oversight Committee seeking to clarify Cohen's testimony last month that he never sought a pardon from the president.

    Cohen declared under oath Feb. 27, "I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump."

    But his attorney Michael Monico told the committee in a letter Tuesday that Cohen asked his lawyer to explore the possibility of a pardon before Cohen left a joint-defense agreement and turned against Trump last June.

    Associated Press writers Jonathan Lemire and Michael R. Sisak contributed to this report.