Lawyer for Cohen raised pardon with Trump attorneys following FBI raid: report

Lawyer for Cohen raised pardon with Trump attorneys following FBI raid: report
© Greg Nash

An attorney representing Michael Cohen broached the idea of a pardon for the longtime Trump associate during a conversation last year with lawyers for the president, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The news outlet reported that Stephen Ryan allegedly discussed the possibility of a pardon with President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE's attorneys Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani and Joanna Hendon. The conversations reportedly took place in the weeks after the FBI raided Cohen's home, hotel room and office while the group reviewed seized files that may have qualified for attorney-client privilege.

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Ryan hinted that Cohen would consider cooperating with prosecutors if he did not receive a pardon, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

The Hill has reached out to Ryan for comment.

Trump's attorneys rejected the idea of pardoning Cohen at the time, the Journal reported, but Giuliani left the door open to a pardon down the road. The former New York City mayor has consistently said the president is unlikely to pardon associates amid ongoing investigations.

There's no indication Cohen himself knew of the conversations or personally requested a pardon, the Journal reported.

Cohen, who worked for nearly a decade as the president's longtime attorney and "fixer," testified last week to lawmakers that his former boss was a "con man" and a "racist" who engaged in potentially criminal conduct during the 2016 presidential campaign and while in the White House.

In his testimony, Cohen said he has "never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr. Trump."

Lanny Davis, who currently represents Cohen, made similar remarks rejecting a hypothetical pardon last August after Cohen pleaded guilty to bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance violation charges. Cohen is due to report in May for a three-year prison sentence.

Cohen is one of 81 individuals and entities that House Democrats on Monday requested documents from as part of a sprawling investigation into the president's administration, business and campaign.

Among the documents lawmakers requested from Cohen are any files related to "possible pardons related for Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortWhy did Mueller allow his investigation to continue for two years? Manafort transferred to minimum security federal prison Poll: Nearly half of Republicans say no one on Trump campaign committed a crime MORE, Michael Flynn, or yourself." 

Trump initially decried the FBI's raid of Cohen's office and home as a "disgrace" but has since taken aim at his longtime associate, accusing him of lying to secure a shorter prison sentence.