Trump says Cohen asked him 'directly' for pardon

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE on Friday claimed Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump offers condolences on frequent foe Cummings: 'Very hard, if not impossible, to replace' Elijah Cummings, Democratic chairman and powerful Trump critic, dies at 68 Schiff says committees will eventually make impeachment inquiry transcripts public MORE asked him “directly” for a pardon, an allegation that would contradict the former Trump lawyer and "fixer’s" congressional testimony last week.  

“He lied! Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again!” Trump tweeted.

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Cohen told the House Oversight and Reform Committee last week that he has “never asked for,” nor would he accept, a pardon for his financial and campaign finance crimes.

Cohen responded to Trump’s charge in a tweet published about half an hour after the president’s message, writing “just another set of lies by @POTUS @realdonaldtrump.”

The veracity of Cohen’s testimony about a possible pardon, however, suffered a blow this week when his lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Cohen’s previous legal team reached out to Trump’s attorneys about clemency following an April 2018 FBI raid on his office.

“Prior to Michael Cohen’s decision to leave the ‘Joint Defense Group’ and tell the truth on July 2, 2018, Michael was open to the ongoing ‘dangling’ of a possible pardon by Trump representatives privately and in the media,” Davis said in a statement on Thursday. “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 that after Cohen decided to cooperate with federal prosecutors in July, the former Trump confidant “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. And his statement at the Oversight Hearing was true — and consistent with his post joint defense agreement commitment to tell the truth.”