President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani told Hill.TV on Friday that justice was served in the criminal trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and that prosecutors should now pursue perjury charges against Michael Cohen.
“I believe it was justice,” Giuliani told “Rising” co-host Buck Sexton, referring to Thursday’s sentencing of Manafort, whose time in prison will be well below the amount he could have received under federal guidelines.
“The fact is that if we take out their desire to try to crack him, to try to get him to cooperate, this is a tax evasion case. Big money, no question about that,” Giuliani added.
A federal judge in Virginia sentenced Manafort to 47 months in prison, significantly less than the 19 1/2 to 24 years in the advisory recommendations. He was convicted by a jury of eight felonies in August.
“The reality is, a first-time tax offender, most often you don’t put them in jail. The number here is big enough so that it warrants a jail sentence,” Giuliani said. “The judge was right on target.”
“What we have on the other side are completely overzealous prosecutors. They’d put this man in solitary confinement for six, seven months,” he added. “They raided his home in the morning like this was John Gotti. He’s not dangerous to anybody. He committed a white collar crime.”
Manafort is awaiting sentencing in a separate case in Washington, D.C. That hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.
Giuliani also weighed in on the possibility that Cohen may have lied to Congress, saying Trump’s former personal lawyer and “fixer” should be prosecuted for perjury.
“If they don’t prosecute him, it would be a complete outrage after what they did to Flynn and a bunch of other people,” he said, referring to Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Cohen’s attorney and spokesman Lanny Davis told The Hill this week that Cohen had asked his former attorney, Stephen Ryan, last year to inquire about a possible pardon.
The statement appears to contradict Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week in which he denied ever seeking a pardon from Trump.
Trump said on Friday, after the Hill.TV interview with Giuliani, that Cohen asked him “directly” for a pardon.
Giuliani told The New York Times this week that he had received calls from Cohen’s attorneys asking about the possibility of a pardon and that he denied them.
“I always gave one answer, and they always left disappointed,” he said.
— Julia Manchester