Trump's ex-lawyer Cohen says testimony 'could have been clearer': lawyer
16 March, 2019, 09:17 | Author: Carlos George
The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee says he does "not see the need for further action" against Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, after he clarified his testimony under oath about never seeking a pardon from Trump.
Monico reiterated that denial in his letter to Cummings, saying Cohen never asked Trump for a pardon and that Trump never offered one.
On Wednesday, Nadler told reporters after his committee questioned Whitaker for two hours behind closed doors that the former acting attorney general "did not deny" that Trump called him to talk about the Cohen case. Trump has denied those claims. He is going to jail for committing several crimes, including lying to Congress about the timeline of a Trump Organization effort to build a tower in Moscow, that he says were done to protect Trump.
"I think that is an inaccurate interpretation of what he said".
That statement, with millions of people watching on television, set off a firestorm that culminated on Friday with Mr. Trump's tweet calling Cohen a liar and alleging he had "directly asked" for a pardon.
The follow-up meeting Wednesday did create new concerns for Democrats, though, after Whitaker said he had raised questions with his staff at the DOJ about the scope of the Southern District of New York's case against Cohen.
Michael Monico told Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, in the letter that Cohen, once President Donald Trump's personal attorney, had asked his lawyer to explore the possibility of a pardon before Cohen left a joint-defense agreement and turned against Mr. Trump last June.
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The new letter does dispute Mr. Trump's claim that Cohen directly asked him for a pardon.
Monico said Cohen had asked his previous lawyer to ask about a possible pardon after an FBI raid on his New York City home, office and hotel room in April 2018 because Mr. Trump had "publicly dangled the possibility of pardons when commenting about ongoing investigations".
"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 a statement to Reuters.
Cohen asked another lawyer to reach out to the president's legal team on his behalf and through the attorney, Robert J. Costello, had a dozen conversations with Giuliani that were described as "a back channel of communication", the New York Times reported.
"This Committee can not stand idly by when a witness comes to a hearing, swears an oath to testify truthfully, and provides material testimony that appears on its face to be demonstrably false", Jordan and Meadows wrote to Cummings, a Maryland Democrat.
Cohen testified before the Oversight panel on February 27 to publicly tell his side of the story.
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