Rudy Giuliani ‘left open the possibility’ of pardoning Michael Cohen after FBI raid

Chris Riotta

Michael Cohen’s lawyer discussed the possibility of Donald Trump’s former “fixer” receiving a pardon during a meeting with the president’s legal team, according to a new report.

Stephen Ryan held conversations on behalf of Cohen with Rudy Giuliani, Jay Sekulow and Joanna Hendon that are now the subject of Congressional investigations, the Wall Street Journal reported. The news arrived after House judiciary committee chairman Jerrold Nadler announced earlier in the day a slate of requests for documents from 81 contacts close to Mr Trump, including two of his children, Trump Organisation Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, and his White House administration.

According to the new report, Cohen’s lawyer suggested his client would be willing to work with investigators if he were not offered a pardon from the president.

Though there is no reported indication Cohen himself knew of the conversations between the attorneys, he told lawmakers last week during an explosive testimony: “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr Trump.”

The conversations were reportedly held shortly after Cohen’s offices, home and hotel room were raided by FBI agents, who seized documents from the president’s ex-attorney. The House judiciary committee — now under Democratic control — has also requested documents from Cohen pertaining to “possible pardons related for Paul Manafort, Michael Flyyn, or yourself”.

Cohen’s current lawyer Lanny Davis has refuted notions of receiving a presidential pardon. Mr Trump’s lawyers were also opposed to the idea when Mr Ryan held conversations with them, according to the Wall Street Journal, though Mr Giuliani reportedly left it as an open possibility.

Mr Trump decried the investigations in a series of tweets on Tuesday morning, calling them “the greatest overreach in the history of our Country.”

“The Dems are obstructing justice and will not get anything done,” he claimed. “A big, fat, fishing expedition desperately in search of a crime, when in fact the real crime is what the Dems are doing, and have done!”

In a statement announcing his committee’s investigation, Mr Nadler said, Investigating these threats to the rule of law is an obligation of Congress and a core function of the House judiciary committee.”

Cohen will serve a three-year sentence in prison beginning in May, after pleading guilty to lying to Congress, as well as campaign finance violations and tax fraud.

The president has repeatedly attacked his former lawyer and confidant ever since Cohen turned on him.

Cohen, in turn, referred to his ex-boss as a "racist," a "con man" and a "cheat" during last week's testimony, in which he provided a cheque possibly revealing the president's criminal conduct while in the White House for reimbursing him over hush money payments sent to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.