'He never stops lying': Michael Cohen under fire after he claims a pardon from Donald Trump was 'being dangled'

'He never stops lying': Michael Cohen under fire after he claims a pardon from Donald Trump was 'being dangled'
Donald Trump's defense team attacked Michael Cohen's credibility on Thursday, May 16, questioning his previous claims regarding pardons from the former president (Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Donald Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche took aim at Michael Cohen's credibility on Thursday, May 16, questioning his previous assertions regarding pardons from the former president.

During the hush money trial, Blanche pressed Cohen about his conflicting statements, highlighting Cohen's public declaration that he wouldn't seek or accept a pardon, juxtaposed with his private discussions with lawmakers where he admitted to instructing his legal team to investigate the option.

Cohen insisted that his public testimony reflected his stance at the time, emphasizing the present tense. However, he acknowledged that he did indeed explore the possibility of a pardon from Trump with his attorneys.

He revealed his motivation behind this action, saying he "wanted this nightmare to end." Moreover, Cohen mentioned that the prospect of a pardon was actively being discussed or hinted at, describing it as "being dangled."

Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche grills Michael Cohen

"So, when you said you never asked for and would never accept a pardon, that was a lie, wasn’t it?" Blanche asked.

"At the time it was accurate," Cohen responded.

The defense subsequently grilled him about his attorney correcting the record on that issue.

"Your lawyer issued a statement, a public statement, that admitted that you had actually directed your attorneys at the time to explore the possibility of a pardon?" Blanche asked. "They did that to correct the record from your testimony in front of Congress?"

"Correct," Cohen responded.

"Your lawyers corrected the statement because it wasn’t true when you made it?" Blanche asked.

"Correct," Cohen said.

After Cohen claimed it was a "confusing" conversation, Blance emphatically declared, "This wasn’t a confusing conversation," before adding, "This was a written statement you read into the record."



 

Trump's defense strategy appeared to frustrate Cohen during questioning about his prior testimony in his own criminal trial.

In December 2018, Cohen was handed a three-year prison sentence for various offenses, including orchestrating payments to silence women alleging affairs with Trump during the 2016 election. Cohen had previously attributed his actions to “my duty to cover up his dirty deeds.”

During his testimony, Cohen labeled US District Judge William Pauley III as "corrupt."

CNN's legal analyst Elie Honig observed that Cohen's frustration peaked when discussing the charges against him, causing him to unravel under questioning.

“This is where he loses it. He goes off the rails. The fact that he pled guilty to tax and bank fraud makes him so angry. He can’t hide it in his public appearances," Honig said. “He’s pretty calm and casual about the other stuff, but this sets him off.”

Legal analyst Adam Kaufmann pointed out that the defense's strategy undermines Cohen's credibility with the jury.

Speaking to CNN, Kaufmann highlighted how Cohen's narrative portrays "everyone in the world. Everyone in this system was corrupt – except me. The judge, the prosecutors, it was all out to get me. And that’s not going to fly with the jury.”

This defensive stance, according to Kaufmann, "really undermines the ‘I lied before, I was bad before but now I’ve fessed up to everything I’ve done, I’ve owned it'" justification.

Michael Cohen faces backlash for his statements

That said, Michael Cohen was widely criticized on social media following his contradictions about seeking a potential pardon from Donald Trump.

"My god he never stops lying," one social media user posted on X.

"That plus catching him lying regarding the call, ended the case," another insisted.

"Michael Cohen is a convicted perjurer," someone else commented.

"He’s a liar, nothing he says is true," another wrote.



 



 



 



 

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