U.S. President Donald Trump, reacts during a meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Chip Somodevilla/Pool via Bloomberg)

Trump Says Cohen Asked Him ‘Directly’ for a Pardon

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said that his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen asked him “directly” for a pardon and accused him of lying to Congress about the matter.

“He lied again!” Trump said Friday in a tweet.

Cohen responded in kind on Twitter, calling Trump’s tweet “Just another set of lies.”

Cohen’s current lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Thursday that Cohen’s former attorney had expressed interest in a presidential pardon in the months after federal investigators searched his home and office last April.

Davis said in a statement that “Michael was open to the ongoing ‘dangling’ of a possible pardon by Trump representatives privately and in the media. 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."

But the statement contradicted Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee last week, in which he said “I have never asked for it, nor would I accept a pardon from President Trump.”

“Another perjury and more prison,” Giuliani said on Twitter on Thursday.

Cohen has pleaded guilty to nine felonies, including lying to Congress in previous testimony. He’s due to report to prison in May. Ahead of serving his sentence, he’s spent hours supplying information to Congress and federal prosecutors in New York and Washington about alleged crimes committed by Trump, his family business and his inner circle.

Cohen has accused Trump of lying to banks and insurers in business dealings; to voters about his pursuit of a deal to build a luxury tower in Moscow even as the Russian government was attempting to intervene in the 2016 presidential campaign; and about hush-money payments to women alleging extramarital affairs. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations tied to the hush-money payments.

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