Michael Cohen Claims Donald Trump’s Pardons Could ‘Ultimately Be His Downfall’

Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen appeared on MSNBC on Tuesday and suggested that the president’s pardons could come back to haunt him, The Independent reported.

“Once you get that pardon, you’re no longer able to invoke the fifth amendment, the right against self-incrimination, because you cannot be charged,” he said.

“So all of these people may ultimately be his downfall simply because they’ll be testifying against him, either before a court or a tribunal.”

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution addresses criminal procedure and civil proceedings. Without its protection, individuals pardoned by Trump — including Roger Stone, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn — would not have the right to refuse questions in court.

Per The Hill, Cohen was convicted of nine counts in 2018 — including campaign finance fraud, tax evasion, and lying to Congress — and sentenced to three years in prison. He was released and placed in home confinement in May due to the coronavirus pandemic. During his MSNBC appearance, Cohen hinted that he would have been on Trump’s pardon list if he did not turn on the head of state and “speak truth to power.”

As for future pardons, Cohen believes that Trump will set his sights on his family members in the last weeks of his time in the White House, the Daily Mail wrote.

“That’s when he’ll probably try to drop the pardon power for Jared [Kushner], Don, Ivanka, Eric, Allen Weisselberg [Trump Organization CFO], whoever he thinks will possibly get a federal indictment.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office is currently investigating the Trump family’s Deutsche Bank dealings as part of a civil probe. If the investigation finds any evidence of illegal activity, it could become a criminal inquiry. In addition, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. is currently investigating Trump’s financial records for possible fraud. Duncan Levin, a former senior staff member under Vance, predicted that any arrests stemming from the investigation are likely to be from serious felonies as opposed to misdemeanors.

With his days in the White House coming to an end, Trump is allegedly worried that he will soon face prosecution from President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming Justice Department, The Independent reported. Regardless, Biden has allegedly suggested that he has no desire to focus on prosecuting Trump and has claimed he will not pressure his DOJ to do so. Notably, one of the president-elect’s advisers was quoted as saying he “wants to move on.”

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