Michael Cohen says he has provided Congressional investigators with two emails that prove President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice by dangling the offer of a pardon in exchange for Cohen refusing to assist the investigation. CNN is reporting that it has obtained copies of two emails that seem to show a pardon was being offered via a highly-placed attorney, Robert Costello, who reassured Cohen that he could “sleep well tonight,” because he has “friends in high places.”
While neither email, both dated April 21, 2018, specifically mentions a pardon, Cohen submitted the documents to Congress as part of his closed-door testimony in order to corroborate his claims that the promise of a pardon was being put out there by the president and his team before Cohen had decided to cooperate with the Congressional investigation.
In response to the allegations, Costello, at first, called Cohen’s accusations “utter nonsense,” then claimed that it was Cohen who asked Costello to raise the idea of a pardon with Giuliani.
“Does dangled mean that he [Cohen] raised it and I mentioned it to Giuliani, and Giuliani said the president is not going to discuss pardons with anybody? If that’s dangling it, that’s dangling it for about 15 seconds,” Costello said.
CNN cited two different sources, one of whom contradicted Costello’s claims, saying it was the attorney who was pushing the concept of a pardon to Cohen. The other source reportedly said that the emails were the Trump team’s way of trying to keep Cohen quiet by hinting at the chance he could be pardoned.
However, Trump’s team claims it was Cohen and his attorneys who were fishing for the possibility of a pardon.
For his part, Cohen caused a major stir when he testified before Congress on the matter of pardons, claiming that “I have not asked for, nor would I accept a pardon” if one was offered.
In response to the latest report, Giuliani claimed that Costello’s emails weren’t actually about pardons, but were focused instead on Cohen’s concerns about the president’s feelings about Cohen.
“That was about Michael Cohen thinking that the President was mad at him. I called [Costello] to reassure him that the President was not mad. It wasn’t long after the raid and the President felt bad for him.”
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, said that he was unable to comment on documents that have been provided to Congressional committees. However, he did speak in general terms about how it usually works in testimony when documents are involved, saying that “it is impossible to try to deny or spin your way out of what documents say.”
“For example,” Davis said, “Michael Cohen in his public testimony did not ask anyone to rely on what he was saying alone. He provided documents that speak for themselves to corroborate what he was saying.”