The Wall Street Journal: Michael Cohen’s lawyer asked about pardon with Trump’s legal team last year

An attorney for Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, raised the possibility of a pardon with attorneys for the president after federal agents raided Cohen’s properties in April, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Conversations among those parties are now being probed by congressional investigators, according to document requests issued Monday by the House Judiciary Committee to dozens of Trump associates, including one of the president’s current lawyers and Cohen.

Cohen’s attorney at the time, Stephen Ryan, discussed the possibility of a pardon with lawyers for Trump in the weeks after the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room, the people said. The pardon discussions occurred while Ryan was working alongside lawyers for Trump to review files seized from Cohen’s premises by the FBI to determine whether they were protected by attorney-client privilege.

The president’s lawyers, including Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani and Joanna Hendon, dismissed the idea of a pardon at the time, these people said. But at least one of them, Giuliani, left open the possibility that the president could grant Cohen one in the future, they said. Ryan left the impression that if Cohen couldn’t rely on a pardon, he might cooperate with prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office investigating Cohen, the people said.

An expanded version of this report appears on

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