Attorney: Cohen will not seek Trump pardon

Michael Cohen's personal attorney Lanny Davis says his client will not seek a pardon from President Trump and may be willing to testify in public without immunity.

Posted: Aug 23, 2018 5:18 AM
Updated: Aug 23, 2018 5:49 AM

Michael Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Wednesday that he believes his client is willing to testify before any congressional committee without being granted immunity.

"Yes, I believe I can say that," Davis told CNN's John Berman on "New Day." "I have not specifically asked my client that question, but I'm stating my belief that the answer to that question is yes," Davis clarified.

Cohen pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Tuesday to eight criminal counts, including campaign finance violations tied to his work for President Donald Trump during the 2016 election.

Later on Wednesday, Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said he asked committee chairman Trey Gowdy for a hearing with Cohen.

"These are extremely serious crimes that implicate the fundamental underpinnings of our democracy, and they warrant robust and credible oversight by Congress as an independent Constitutional check on the Executive Branch," Cummings wrote in a letter to Gowdy. "Given the gravity of these revelations, I request that you schedule a hearing as soon as possible before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to obtain sworn testimony directly from Mr. Cohen."

Following Cohen's plea deal on Tuesday, Sens. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Mark Warner, the ranking member on the committee, offered a rare, joint statement before reporters, saying they had "re-engaged" with Cohen. Burr said the committee re-engaged "following press reports that suggested he had advance knowledge of the June 2016 meeting between campaign officials and Russian lawyers at Trump Tower."

Cohen's legal team told the committee Cohen did not need to change his original testimony, Burr said, in which Cohen testified he was not aware of the Trump Tower meeting prior to its disclosure in the media last year.

Davis also told "New Day" on Tuesday that Cohen will not seek a pardon from Trump.

In his guilty plea, Cohen directly implicated the President, saying that he kept information that would have harmed Trump from becoming public during the 2016 election cycle "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office."

The counts against Cohen included tax fraud, false statements to a bank and campaign finance violations tied to his work for Trump, including payments Cohen made or helped orchestrate that were designed to silence women who claimed affairs with the then-candidate.

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