January 25, 2021
Michael Cohen Says Donald Trump Issued Secret 'Pocket Pardons' For Himself & His Kids

Former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen appeared on MSNBC on Sunday and claimed that the former head of state likely issued himself and his children secret "pocket pardons," Raw Story reported.

According to Cohen, these pardons could be used sometime in the future and essentially act as "get out of jail free" cards.

"What are we missing as Americans? And I kind of think I figured it out," he said.

"I think Donald Trump actually has given himself the pardon. I think he also has pocket pardons for his children and for Rudy [Giuliani] and it's already stashed somewhere that, if and when they do get indicted and that there's a criminal conviction, federal criminal conviction brought against him, he already has the pardons in hand."
Cohen claimed that the U.S. Constitution does not stipulate that pardons have to be disclosed to the American public and press. The disbarred lawyer also argued that Trump does not respect the law and will do anything for his own benefit — including using his purported "pocket pardon."

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Jeffrey Crouch, an assistant professor of American politics at American University, argued that "secret pardons" would not likely work. Although Crouch noted that such clemency has not been tested in court, he pointed to the intentions of the Constitution's framers and suggested that the president cannot relieve himself from the judgment of decisions that nobody is aware of but himself.

"Although the framers imagined a broad pardon power, secret pardons are untenable, likely inadvisable and perhaps unconstitutional."

U.S. President Donald Trump looks back at journalists after welcoming Mongolian President Battulga Khaltmaa to the White House July 31, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Getty Images | Chip Somodevilla

Although Trump pardoned some allies — including former White Hosue strategist Steve Bannon — CNN claimed he was talked out of pardoning himself and Republican lawmakers in Congress. Notably, the publication said that White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Eric Herschmann, who represented Trump in his first impeachment trial, gave the then-president the warning during his final Saturday in office.

With Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump listening, the former U.S. leader was allegedly cautioned that issuing pardons to himself and his family would make them appear guilty and potentially open up the door to even more legal trouble. According to CNN, Trump was advised not to issue preemptive clemency unless he could list specific crimes.

Former Attorney General William Barr also allegedly warned Trump against issuing pardons to himself in the weeks leading up to his exit from the White House.

As The Inquisitr reported, Cohen previously suggested that Trump's pardons could harm him in the future. In particular, the lawyer noted that pardoned individuals could no longer invoke the fifth amendment and suggested some of Trump's allies might be forced to testify against him.