Cohen told Congress he and Trump lawyer spoke of 'global pardon'

Billy House and Shahien Nasiripour, Bloomberg News on

Published in Political News

Adam Schiff, the committee's chairman, told reporters that there were details in the transcript that reveal extensive discussions Cohen had with members of a joint defense legal team, including Sekulow, about his testimony in 2017 regarding the Trump tower Moscow negotiations, and knowledge that testimony was false.

Cohen also went into detail about the president's "familiarity with his written testimony, the knowledge that testimony was false, but nonetheless less was approved by the president, according to Mr. Cohen."

Cohen told the panel that he would have accepted a pardon from Trump early in the investigation into his finances, without specifying a timeframe. But Trump's associates kept pushing it back, telling Cohen "you have to wait until you get further down," he testified.

Sekulow told Cohen that the reason for his possible pardon was "because there's no Russia, there's no collusion, and this whole matter should just go away," Cohen said.

Ultimately, Cohen said he came to believe Trump wouldn't pardon him or anyone else connected to the president who came under prosecutors' scrutiny, including his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and longtime political counselor, Roger Stone.

"So he's going to keep it on message so that Manafort stays silent, and Roger Stone, and they just go along with, again, the narrative, but he'll let them rot in jail forever," Cohen said of Trump. "He just doesn't care. It's all about him."


Schiff said the committee would meet on Wednesday to decide what to do about the Justice Department's defiance last week of a subpoena for documents involving the early stages of the FBI's and department's counterintelligence investigation that turned into special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.

"We will have a vote. I don't want to characterize it yet," Schiff said.

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