Donald Trump’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, says that the only reason the president hired Michael Cohen as his attorney is because he felt “sorry” for him, per The Hill.
The former New York City mayor spoke to Hill.TV‘s Buck Sexton for an interview on Rising, and revealed that Cohen wasn’t a good enough lawyer to get enough work, so Trump gave him small jobs out of pity.
“I don’t want to get him angry, I think the president felt sorry for him because he never could quite have the standing of the lawyers,” Giuliani said. “All of the important matters would go to other lawyers, so he’d give him things to do that were more in the nature of public relations, but some small legal matters.”
Giuliani also addressed the news that Cohen tried to seek out a pardon from the president after his home and office were raided by the FBI. He dismissed the notion that Cohen had never asked for a pardon, and called that claim “perjury.”
Trump confirmed the news that Cohen had asked for a pardon in a tweet on Friday. The president says that he denied Cohen’s plea.
“Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he never asked for a Pardon. His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied! Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again!” Trump wrote.
Experts are trying to unpack exactly what took place and when, but it appears that Cohen asked Trump for a pardon in April of last year. What is unclear is whether Cohen was flatly denied, or if he was given a more encouraging response.
One often overlooked point in pardon drama:
There is zero appropriate role for Rudy Giuliani on pardons. Zilch.
Here’s why… https://t.co/ednZY1GUPW
— Andy Wright (@AndyMcCanse) March 8, 2019
The New York Times reported that Giuliani said that several lawyers who are currently under investigation by the Justice Department had turned to Trump to seek out a pardon. He didn’t mention Cohen specifically, however, but his statements came in response to questions about Cohen.
Giuliani has repeatedly claimed that the president won’t even consider issuing any pardons for people in his orbit until all of the investigations have concluded.
In testimony last week, Cohen denied having ever asked for a pardon, but his lawyer contradicted him, saying that Trump’s former lawyer had in fact approached the president to discuss the possibility.
The new information prompted Elija Cummings, the House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman from Maryland, to suggest that they would need to revisit Cohen’s testimony. Cohen has already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2018.