Pardon for Cohen? He Wouldn't Take One From Trump, Lawyer Says

(Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen said he wouldn’t accept a presidential pardon, a day after he pleaded guilty to eight felony counts of fraud and campaign finance violations stemming from hush payments to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

“Not only is he not hoping for it, he would not accept a pardon," Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis said Wednesday on NBC’s "Today" show. "He considers a pardon from somebody who has acted so corruptly as president to be something he would never accept.”

Cohen, who has set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for his legal defense, has knowledge that would be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller in his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, Davis said.

The episode shows the depth of the schism that’s emerged between Trump and Cohen, who once boasted he would take a bullet for his most powerful client. In a round of morning television appearances, Davis said Cohen has gone through an "evolutionary" process that culminated in him spurning Trump following last month’s Helsinki summit when the president appeared to side with the Russian President Vladimir Putin over U.S. intelligence officials regarding claims that Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.

Davis also said on CNN that Cohen may at some point address the issue of whether Trump knew ahead of time about Russia’s hacking of emails during the 2016 presidential campaign.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.