When Donald Trump’s allies decided to try to paint Michael Cohen as a perjurer by zeroing in on his claim that he hadn’t sought a pardon, Palmer Report predicted that they were making a mistake. Cohen may be guilty of having over-parsed his words, but certainly not perjury. And by pushing the issue, Trump’s allies were merely pushing an ugly Trump scandal to the forefront. Now Trump himself has gone and blown it entirely.
In the days since Michael Cohen’s public testimony, we’ve learned that Donald Trump’s criminal defense attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow both allegedly dangled pardons at Cohen in an attempt at convincing him not to cooperate with prosecutors. If this evidence holds up, Giuliani and Sekulow are both going to prison for obstruction of justice. The larger question has been whether it can be proven that Trump was involved in the illegal pardon offer. Now we have something of an answer, from Trump’s own mouth.
Trump posted this tweet today: “Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he never asked for a Pardon. His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied! Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again! He also badly wanted to work at the White House. He lied!” Oops.
Donald Trump just claimed that he had a conversation directly with Michael Cohen about a pardon. This probably means Trump can be subpoenaed to testify about this supposed conversation, both by the SDNY, and by the House. Trump will surely lie about the nature of the conversation. But for all we know, Cohen secretly recorded it, as he’s so often one with these matters. Trump just overplayed a bad hand and screwed himself.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report