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Kaine: 'You'll see Congress erupt' if Trump starts issuing pardons

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineOvernight Defense: Tim Kaine moves to claw back war powers authority | Study on sexual harassment and assault in the military Biden tells Senate Democrats to stick together, quickly pass coronavirus relief Kaine plans new push on war powers after Biden's Syria strike MORE (D-Va.) on Thursday cautioned President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE against using pardons for potential witnesses in investigations amid reports that an attorney for the president's former personal lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenThe Memo: Trump faces deepening legal troubles Trump lashes out after Supreme Court decision on his financial records Supreme Court declines to shield Trump's tax returns from Manhattan DA MORE raised the prospect of a pardon with Trump's lawyers last year.

"If you start to see this president use pardon power for people who are connected with this investigation, I think you’ll see Congress erupt," Kaine said in an appearance on CNN's "New Day."

The Virginia Democrat's comments came after Cohen's current attorney, Lanny Davis, told The Wall Street Journal that Cohen directed his former attorney last summer “to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump.”

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The Journal had previously reported that Cohen's former lawyer raised the possibility of a pardon with Giuliani and other Trump attorneys after an April FBI raid of Cohen's home and office.

Cohen, who worked for nearly a decade as the president's longtime attorney and "fixer," testified last week to lawmakers that he has "never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr. Trump."

Kaine indicated the comments from Cohen's attorney give reason to further inquire about Cohen's testimony.

"That’s what Michael Cohen says, and then a current lawyer says a former lawyer said something about what Cohen did another time," Kaine said. "That’s not the same thing as direct evidence that would suggest he’s not being truthful. It’s something I think you’d want to inquire into."

Cohen testified last week that Trump is a "racist" and a "cheat," and implicated the president in potential criminal activity. Cohen is set to begin a three-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to bank fraud, tax fraud, campaign finance law violations and lying to Congress.

Trump has accused Cohen of lying to prosecutors to secure a lighter prison sentence.