Cohen's lawyer discussed possible pardon with Trump lawyers

SNL Bill Hader and Ben Stiller Recreate Michael Cohen Hearing

SNL Bill Hader and Ben Stiller Recreate Michael Cohen Hearing

Congress is investigating whether Michael Cohen's former attorney broached President Donald Trump's lawyers to inquire about the possibility of a pardon in an attempt to induce Cohen to continue lying, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Stephen Ryan first mentioned the idea of a pardon with Trump's legal team, Rudy Giuliani, Jay Sekulow, and Joanna Hendon, following the FBI's raid on Cohen's home in April of previous year.

Trump's lawyers "dismissed the idea of a pardon at the time", but Giuliani, who still works as Trump's lawyer, "left open the possibility" of a future pardon for Cohen, the Journal reported. The WSJ article noted there was no evidence that Cohen himself asked for a pardon or was aware of the alleged pardon discussions.

The pardon discussions happened as Cohen's attorney at that time, Stephen Ryan, was working with Trump's lawyers to determine whether documents seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during the April raid were protected by attorney-client privilege, sources told the Journal.

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Diversion Books said it crashed "Cohen's House Testimony: The Complete Transcripts and Case Documents" for March 5 publication - only five days after Cohen delivered his riveting public testimony on Capitol Hill.

"The President has shown through pardoning (Arizona sheriff) Joe Arpaio, through pardoning (conservative author and filmmaker) Dinesh D'Souza, that he uses the pardon power to help out his friends. I don't think it was even inappropriate", Toobin told CNN's John Berman, adding that it's unclear whether or not Cohen knew about the discussions. However a spokeswoman for Cohen told the Journal that "Mr. Cohen stands by his testimony before the House Oversight Committee".

Waxman said it was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban - who published "How to Win at the Sport of Business" with Diversion in 2013 - who urged the indie publisher to rush to publish a Cohen book.

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