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Lawyer: Cohen Would Rejects Trump Pardon, Will Share ‘All That He Knows’ With Mueller

Posted at 8:55 AM, Aug 22, 2018

(NBC News) — Michael Cohen — the former personal attorney to President Donald Trump who pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bank fraud and campaign finance violations — will not accept a pardon from the commander-in-chief and is willing to share additional information about his former boss with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, his lawyer said.

“Not only is he not hoping for it, he would not accept a pardon,” Lanny Davis, Cohen’s attorney, said Wednesday on “Today” about his client.

“He considers a pardon from someone who acted so corruptly as president to be something he would never accept,” Davis added.

Davis said his client had hit “a reset button” and wanted “to tell the truth from now on” about Trump. During a separate interview with MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," Davis cited Trump’s controversial summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki as "a significant turning point" that made Cohen "worry about the future of our country."

He said Cohen — who once bragged he’d take a bullet for Trump — had told him he felt Trump was "a scary person" who "sometimes acts mentally scary."

Davis also told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday night that Cohen "has knowledge on certain subjects that should be of interest” to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 race.

Cohen, Davis said, “is more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows, not just about the obvious possibility of a conspiracy to collude and corrupt the American Democracy system in the 2016 election … but also knowledge about the computer crime of hacking and whether or not Mr. Trump knew ahead of time about that crime and even cheered it on."

As he waited to go on air, Davis also said that Cohen has information about improprieties in the Trump charitable foundation that would be of interest to the New York Attorney General, who is investigating the foundation. He did not offer specifics.

Among the charges that Cohen pleaded guilty to on Tuesday were campaign finance violations, including two counts related to hush-money payments made to women. He also said he made the payments "at the direction of a candidate," meaning Trump.

Trump’s name didn’t come up in the federal courtroom in Manhattan, but Cohen said he had paid two women, apparently porn actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal, "at the direction" of an unidentified candidate in 2016, and that a $150,000 payment in August 2016 was for the "principal purpose of influencing" the 2016 presidential election. Both Daniels and McDougal have said they had past relationships with Trump. Asked if he knew that what he did was illegal, he told the court yes.

Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, said in a statement that Cohen made the plea so "his family can move on to the next chapter."