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Michael Cohen would refuse a pardon from Trump, his former lawyer says

·Reporter
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  • Michael Cohen
    Michael Cohen
    American attorney
  • Donald Trump
    Donald Trump
    45th President of the United States
  • Lanny Davis
    Lanny Davis
    American lawyer, author, and lobbyist
  • Robert Mueller
    American attorney

Veteran political consultant and attorney Lanny Davis said that his embattled advisee Michael Cohen is taking personal responsibility for his bad behavior and would refuse any pardon offered by President Trump.

Davis was Cohen’s attorney last summer when he pleaded guilty to fraud and violating campaign finance laws by paying hush money to pornographic actress Stormy Daniels. Cohen, who was Trump’s personal attorney for many years, was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday.

On “Face the Nation” Sunday, Davis was asked what he thought of Trump calling Cohen a “Rat” earlier that morning for cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“That’s the language of a mobster, not of the president,” Davis replied. “But Michael Cohen took ownership and personal responsibility for lying and he’s going to jail as a consequence and he authorized me, several times, to say he wouldn’t take a pardon from Donald Trump if it was handed to him.”

Davis told the show’s moderator, Margaret Brennan, that they never discussed the possibility of taking a presidential pardon. He said that Cohen has corroborating evidence for everything he disclosed to Robert Mueller, the special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election.

“So Michael Cohen is now taking ownership in his statement to the court of his personal responsibility for his behavior when he worked for Donald Trump,” he continued. “Now that he saw Donald Trump as president he underwent a genuine transformation because he feared for his country and his family when Donald Trump was president.”

Lanny Davis and Michael Cohen (Photos: Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images, Mary Altaffer/AP)
Lanny Davis and Michael Cohen (Photos: Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images, Mary Altaffer/AP)

Davis also took issue with Trump’s claim that federal agents had broken into Cohen’s office and residences in New York in April. He said Cohen consented to the search and even thanked the federal agents for their courtesy as they left. Cohen later described the agents to CNN as “extremely professional, courteous and respectful.”

“You have a president denouncing the FBI, lying about a warrant in a legal search, and he’s the top law enforcement officer of the country and who does he praise? He praises his people who have lied and refused to cooperate. The opposite of what a president should do,” he said.

Davis said there are some questions he cannot answer publicly as Cohen’s former lawyer and current adviser because he does not want to “get in front of Mr. Mueller’s findings.” He urged the public to exercise patience so that Mueller’s investigation isn’t compromised or hindered.

However, he did point out that the sentencing memo by Mueller described the information provided by Cohen as important to the investigation, as it relates to Trump’s attempts to build a large project in Moscow, and contacts with Russian officials.

“There’s a lot in the Mueller memo that tells you how forthcoming, for 70 hours in seven meetings, Michael Cohen was with Mr. Mueller.”

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