, 17 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
An AP story that appeared late today has thrown more light on the “pardon dangling” issue, and also made me realize that my earlier post needs some important corrections. (The NY attorney in the article is Robert J. Costello.) 1/17 tinyurl.com/yyln387z
First, the Cohen testimony I discussed was made before Rep. Elijah Cummings’ House Oversight and Reform Committee on Feb 27, not the HPSCI on Feb 28. 2/17
(My bad: and I watched a lot of the hearing, too! I let myself get confused because Adam Schiff, the chairman of the HPSCI, has recently also entered the picture in a big way on the “pardon dangling” issue.) 3/17
More importantly, it is clear to me now that we can dismiss as without merit the criminal referral made to the DOJ by the Republicans on the committee. This is clear if one looks carefully at Cohen’s testimony. 4/17
Cohen declared under oath on Feb. 27: "I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump." 5/17
In my earlier posting tonight, I said that Cohen’s testimony was “indisputably false,” because I was under the false impression that Cohen had said, inter alia, that he would never have accepted a pardon. But that is not what Cohen said. 6/17
What he said was: “I have never asked for, nor would I accept [NOW], a pardon from President Trump.” This is obviously quite different from saying: “......,nor would I have accepted then” or “ … nor would I have ever accepted.” 7/17
In short, I misrepresented the testimony in a very significant way. My apologies. 8/17
As for Cohen’s testimony that he had never asked for a pardon from Trump, that seems to be holding up as well. The NYT reported this evening that Chairman Elijah Cummings says he does "not see the need for further action" against Cohen. 9/17 tinyurl.com/y28gspgz
Trump tweeted on March 8 that Cohen once asked him directly for a pardon. 10/17 tinyurl.com/y3gm8zkq.
Cohen categorically denied this in a tweet he wrote in response to Trump, in which he called Trump a liar. 11/17
The Times reports: 12/17
Cohen is asserting that he never asked for a pardon, though he did ask an attorney when he was still part of the joint defense agreement to discuss possible pardon options in response to Trump’s prior public declarations. (It was exploring options, not seeking or asking.) 13/17
On the other hand, it’s still looking bad for Costello, Giuliani, and Trump. Even if Cohen never asked for a pardon, there were apparently ongoing discussions about possible pardon options when Costello told Cohen the following: 14/17
“Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.” [Costello] added, in a postscript: “Some very positive comments about you from the White House. Rudy noted how that followed my chat with him last night.” 15/17
Sounds suspiciously like dangling a pardon to me. Furthermore, Trump is on public record in a tweet saying that Cohen directly asked him for a pardon, which Cohen denies. 16/17
This disagreement on the public record is currently being actively investigated--and the last thing Trump needs is another investigation. (These are unlikely to ever turn out well for him.) 17/17
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