Skip to comments.Cohen won't accept pardon from Trump, attorney says
Posted on 08/22/2018 9:49:58 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
President Donald Trump's former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen will "under no circumstances" accept a pardon from his former boss, Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis said Wednesday.
Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Manhattan federal court to violating campaign finance laws during the 2016 campaign, including making hush-money payments to two women who claim they had affairs with the president. Cohen implicated the president in his guilty plea, telling the court that he made those payments "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office."
Asked whether his client would seek a pardon from the president, Cohen's attorney Lanny Davis said "the answer is definitively no" during an appearance on CNN Wednesday morning.
"His answer would be no, I do not want a pardon from this man," Davis said. "Under no circumstances, since he came to the judgment after Mr. Trump's election to the presidency of the United States that his suitability is a serious risk to our country. And certainly after Helsinki, creates serious questions about his loyalty to our country."
Davis was a fixture on Wednesday morning's TV news programs, sitting for at least five interviews that aired before 9 a.m., including all three network morning shows NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America" and "CBS This Morning."
He told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, was a "significant turning point" for Cohen in deciding to turn against the president, Cohen's attorney said Wednesday. Cohen, who has worked alongside the president and his family since 2006, went through an "evolutionary" process before taking the plea deal he formally accepted on Tuesday, Davis said.
"Helsinki was a significant turning point, as he worried about the future of our country with the president of the United States aligning with somebody who everybody in his intelligence community who he appointed, including [Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats, said that Putin interfered and tried to help Trump get elected," Davis said. "And Trump is the only one left denying that. And that shook up Mr. Cohen."
Earlier this summer, Trump met face-to-face with Russian president Putin in Helsinki, meeting one-on-one and then with aides. Those meetings were followed by a bilateral press conference where Trump seemed to accept Putin's denials that Russia was not behind a campaign of cyberattacks aimed at interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, apparently taking the word of the Russian president over that of the U.S. intelligence community.
Trump later walked back his Helsinki remarks, insisting he does believe Russia was behind the interference efforts. But already, Cohen seemed to have made up his mind.
As an American, I repudiate Russias or any other foreign governments attempt to interfere or meddle in our democratic process, and I would call on all Americans to do the same, Cohen told ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview last month. Simply accepting the denial of Mr. Putin is unsustainable.
While Cohen's attorney insisted Wednesday that the former Trump attorney's decision-making process had been shaped by the Helsinki summit, Cohen's legal jeopardy was already well underway. Acting on a referral from the office of special counsel Robert Mueller, Cohen's office and residences were raided by the FBI last April, spurring discussion that Trump's attorney might turn against him in order to protect himself.
Davis said Wednesday that his client has information that would be of interest to Mueller, who is at the helm of an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Mueller's team is also probing whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia, an inquiry the president often calls a "witch hunt."
According to Davis, Cohen has more information that would be of interest to the Mueller investigation, and he plans to tell the truth to whoever asks. Davis was an attorney for President Bill Clinton during the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and for the subsequent impeachment proceedings.
"Michael Cohen knows information that would be of interest to the special counsel, in my opinion, regarding both knowledge about a conspiracy to corrupt American democracy by the Russians and the failure to report that knowledge to the FBI," Davis said. "Donald Trump violated criminal law. He may not be able to be indicted. That's an unclear question, but there's no dispute here. He directed Michael Cohen to do something that was criminal. Michael did it and admitted to it."
Cohen's decision to flip on the president and implicate Trump in his own guilty plea was a "painful process," Davis said. Cohen could face four years in prison for allegedly paying off women at Trump's request.
Asked if Cohen possesses evidence that would corroborate his claim that Trump directed him to make the hush-money payments, Davis insisted that the president's own lawyers, in a letter to Mueller's office, have written that Trump "directed" Cohen to make those payments. That admission from Trump's legal team, Davis said, is evidence enough.
"His lawyers wrote the special counsel and said that he directed Michael Cohen to make these payments. So the answer is, yes, he committed a crime," Davis said in an interview with "CBS This Morning" on Wednesday. "When a lawyer makes an admission of fact on behalf of a client, that is dispositive evidence. It's not disputable evidence."
So a guy refusing a pardon can somehow convince the Judge to put him in prison anyway? How does that work?
My thoughts exactly. Is he hopefully projecting? "I don't want a pardon for betraying you and my oath. So don't feel sorry for me and give me a pardon for stabbing you in the back, Mr. President."
“At that point Trump may send over large teams to take those documents from the DOJ that are being hidden from Congress”
He’d better not wait until that point. Then it all becomes something different. He needs to do it now. Do it cleanly. Before it becomes a family issue.
They have to get Trump impeached before the red wave or make enough people to think he is a crook to avoid that. They will do anything now.
Cohen allowing himself to be used by Lanny Davis on behalf of the democratic party. How much lower can any person get, let alone a “former” attorney?
Whatever fees and “gofundme” money is collected, is going into the democratic party’s campaign coffers, not directly, but, those moneys will end up helping the democratic party. That’s what Lanny is about and even if Cohen is being defensive, he’s helping the democrats.
If Marc Rich was “pardonable”, then, so can anyone currently under indictment or found guilty under Mueller. Rich’s pardon was a lot more egregious for much bigger crimes.
Trump needs to take over the investigations. This Mueller and democratic party charade has gone on long enough, and they won’t rest until Trump is indicted for something, even if it’s about hating puppies and kittens.
The accused prefers to clear his name via trial. Its a gamble.
Unless a pardon specifies that the accused was innocent, a pardon is an admission of guilt, if accepted.
He was not offered nor was Trump even contemplating a pardon. He knew that as soon as he began putting out feelers to the USA about a deal.
BTW, a pardon only removes the criminal conviction....the person is still liable for all civil matters i.e. taxes and penalties. Marc Rich is a good example.
Seriously? All of those sealed indictments means an awful lot of grand juries and not one leak.
Yep, Davis is working for the Clintons.
My question was stupid.
He is facing up to five years in Federal Prison. He is once again lying. Of course he would take a pardon.
Cohen flipped because even a federal pardon wouldn’t save him because the state of New York would come after him for tax evasion and bank fraud.
More interesting is that the novel crime of “NDA’s as a campaign violation” seems to be all he was able to proffer in exchange for his sorry hide.
I have no doubt that if there was any there, there; Mulehead would not have turned this over to SDNY for prosecution.
Even then, SDNY couldn’t get the timing right. Mid August is useless, why not save it for an October surprise pile on?
I wonder if Mueller already gave him immunity?
He might change his mind after he gets passed around the cell block a few dozen times.
A pardon can, of course be refused, but if the pardon doesn’t spring the pardonee it is because the powers that be have decided that he doesn’t have to leave prison if he doesn’t want to or if the pardon is post punishment the refusal has no effect at all.
Ding~! Ding~! Ding~! Winner!
Right. Most pardons are requested, so oddball cases very rarely come up.
Cohen has obviously decided that it’s better to be in jail, on Hillary’s side - on the side that’s trying to destroy Trump - than it is to be pardoned by Trump and free. Better for his health. Better for his family’s well-being and health. Hillary takes care of helpers. What she does to those who aren’t helpful...well, that’s all a part of history.
Heh, you think Hillary’s NOT running again? LOL.
If I were he, I would forget about that GoFundMe thingee.
There was no agreement in the plea bargain, so probably not.
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