News by VICE

Michael Cohen’s lawyer says his client "would never accept​" a pardon from Trump

Cohen now considers his former boss “to be both corrupt and a dangerous person in the Oval Office.”

by David Gilbert
Aug 22 2018, 7:00pm

Michael Cohen once said he’d take a bullet for Donald Trump. Now he wouldn’t even take a presidential pardon.

That’s according to Lanny Davis, Cohen’s lawyer, who conducted multiple media interviews Wednesday, hours after his client implicated the president while pleading guilty to eight federal charges, including violating campaign finance laws with a hush-money payment to two women who claimed to have slept with Trump.

Davis told NPR that Cohen now considers his former boss “to be both corrupt and a dangerous person in the Oval Office,” adding that Cohen has decided to tell the truth about working for Trump and "would never accept" a pardon from the president.

On NBC’s “Morning Joe”, Davis said: “Very clearly, there is no dispute that Donald Trump committed a crime.” He added that Cohen has information regarding a Russian conspiracy to “corrupt American democracy” and “a failure to report that knowledge to the FBI” — information he is willing to share with FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

On CNN, Davis said Cohen was willing to testify in public, without immunity, to any congressional committee. He also repeated a claim that the president's lawyers had admitted to Mueller in a letter that Trump directed the hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with the then-businessman.

Despite what could be the defining 24 hours of the presidency, which also included the guilty verdict against Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the president mostly ignored Tuesday’s seismic events.

Trump did finally tweet about Cohen Wednesday, offering a poor review of his services and claiming the crimes he pleaded guilty to were not crimes.

The previous night, after stepping off Air Force One in West Virginia to attend a re-election campaign rally, Trump ignored questions about Cohen, and called the guilty verdict at the Manafort trial “a very sad thing that happened,” adding that it “has nothing to do with Russian collusion.”

“I must tell you that Paul Manafort is a good man,” Trump said. “He was with Ronald Reagan, he was with a lot of different people over the years, and I feel very sad about that.”

Trump continued his outreach top Manafort Wednesday.

Cover image: Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, leaves the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Court House in lower Manhattan, New York City, U.S. August 21, 2018. (REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Donald Trump
Robert Mueller
presidential pardon
lanny davis