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Giuliani associates approached Cohen after FBI raid: report
Lawyers who claimed to be associates of Rudy Giuliani reportedly contacted President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen after his office and apartment were raided by the FBI, according to an ABC News report.
The news outlet reports that the lawyers who were in close contact with Giuliani attempted to convince Cohen to remain loyal to Trump.
Cohen has since slammed his former boss in testimony in front of Congress, but at the time, he was still contemplating whether to stay loyal to the president, ABC reports.
Unnamed sources told ABC that the men with ties to Giuliani, who is Trump's personal attorney, were urging Cohen to stay in a joint defense agreement with Trump.
The outlet reports the two lawyers first contacted Cohen in April, just weeks after his office and residences were raided.
They also offered to join Cohen's legal team if he decided to exit the joint defense agreement so they could serve as a connection between Cohen and Giuliani, according to ABC News.
"I can't say anything about it. If I had any conversations with any of his lawyers it would be privileged because it was all under the joint defense agreement," Giuliani told ABC News about the matter.
Cohen ultimately ended up cooperating with investigations conducted by both special counsel Robert Mueller's office and the Southern District of New York.
The sources told ABC News that the lawyers connected to Giuliani who spoke to Cohen did not mention or explicitly discuss the possibility of a presidential pardon for Cohen.
"We have said the president is not going to issue any pardons and is not considering any pardons at this time," Giuliani told the news outlet.
Cohen reportedly ceased any contact with lawyers associated with Trump after he hired Guy Petrillo, the former head of the criminal division of the Southern District of New York, to represent him while he cooperated with ongoing investigations into Trump.
ABC reports that investigators have looked at these communications in an attempt to determine if they were intended to influence Cohen or to imply a possible pardon for him.
Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis said in a statement that Cohen "was open to the ongoing 'dangling' of a possible pardon by Trump representatives privately and in the media" prior to exiting the joint defense agreement.
"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," Davis said. "But after July 2, 2018, Mr. Cohen authorized me as a new lawyer to say publicly Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from President Trump even if offered. That continues to be the case."
Cohen returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to give closed-door testimony to the House Intelligence Committee.
He is scheduled to turn himself in to begin serving a three-year sentence in May as part of a plea deal he reached with Mueller.
-Updated March 7 at 11:34 a.m.