Trump Says Cohen Asked Him ‘Directly’ for a Pardon

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Weisselberg, a NY native, has also worked as a treasurer for Trump Foundation, which the NY attorney general sued a year ago, alleging violations of campaign finance law, self-dealing and illegal coordination.

President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who infamously defended his client by declaring on national TV that "truth isn't truth", on Thursday asked if House Democrats "care about the truth" while arguing that Trump's former legal fixer Michael Cohen should be prosecuted for perjury.

Cohen says the Trump Organization agreed in 2017 to indemnify him and pay legal fees in connection with investigations arising from his work for the Trump Organization. All three have been charged in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible coordination between Russian Federation and Trump's presidential campaign.

But the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said that Cohen had lawyers reach out to him past year about the possibility of Trump intervening. When asked if Congress should investigate Cohen's claims about Trump's "unethical and illegal behavior", nearly 60 percent of voters said yes.

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".

Cohen is set to start a three-year jail term in May after he pled guilty to lying to Congress, financial crimes and campaign finance violations related to the hush-money payment. Cohen told a House committee last week that he had briefed Trump Jr. approximately 10 times about the plan.

The president said Cohen - who once said he'd "take a bullet for" the president but has since turned against him - told a "stone cold" lie in his statement before the committee.

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Republican lawmakers have questioned why they should believe Cohen since he lied to them once before.

"This is a desperate money-grab by a desperate convicted felon", Marc Mukasey, a lawyer representing the Trump Organization, said in a statement. But it also highlights how the issue of pardons has emerged as a significant line of inquiry for congressional investigators.

According to longtime Clinton confidant Lanny Davis, Cohen's current lawyer, that outreach came at Cohen's request.

Sources allege that that Schiff's staff covered various topics with Cohen before his testimony on Capitol Hill, many which were brought up during the House Oversight Committee public hearing. During last week's public testimony, he called Trump a con man, a cheat and a racist.

While Cohen's initial costs of $1.7 million were covered through June 2018, things changed once the longtime Trump lawyer flipped and became a cooperating witness.

That firm withdrew from his case late last spring after the Trump Organization stopped paying Cohen's bills, a withdrawal the lawsuit says "prejudiced" Cohen's ability to respond to the federal investigations.