NY attorney says feds probing his pardon talks with Cohen

General Matthew Whitaker testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S. Feb. 8 2019. REUTERS  Jonathan Ernst  File

House Republicans Push Elijah Cummings To Refer Michael Cohen To DOJ For Perjury

Mark Meadows claimed in their letter that Cohen lied about six separate topics during sworn testimony before the House Oversight and Reform Committee on February 27.

The follow-up meeting Wednesday did create new concerns for Democrats, though, after Whitaker said he had raised questions with his staff at the DOJ about the scope of the Southern District of New York's case against Cohen.

Another attorney, Robert Costello, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that Cohen instructed him a year ago to ask Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani about the possibility of a pardon. Nothing ever came of that effort, he said.

"That was taken in the context of his job as the acting attorney general where there is discussions in the normal personnel issues".

"As far as we know, our fears weren't borne out", Nadler said, according to the GOP counsel's notes.

"I do think there is a problem because Whitaker previously didn't just previously testify in Congress that the president didn't lash out he also testified in response to a question from Rep. [David] Cicilline was - 'Did the White House reach out to you in some way to express dissatisfaction?' Answer: 'No.' So Whitaker didn't have any problem remembering that a month ago, more than a month ago. "Never" didn't really mean 'never.' Laughable", Mr. Meadows said.

Nadler's committee is seeking evidence that Trump may have urged Whitaker to put the investigations under the supervision of Berman, a Trump donor and former law partner of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani who is recused.

U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies before a House Judiciary Committee hearing on oversight of the Justice Department on Capitol Hill in Washington Feb. 8 2019. REUTERS  Jonathan Ernst  File

Additionally, a separate source described as "familiar with the emails" said that Trump's legal team was trying to keep Cohen from flipping on the president and "hinting that a pardon could be in the mix at some point". He said the committee would 'analyze the revelations and see where they lead'.

Nadler also said that Whitaker told the committee Wednesday that he discussed whether to fire one or more U.S. attorneys.

"[Trump] said he wanted an attorney general who would personally protect him from the investigation". "He was only there for a few months; he was involved in discussions about firing U.S. Attorneys, about the scope of the recusal by the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of NY".

Nadler said he wasn't sure what the next steps would be after hearing from Whitaker.

"Our practice on this Committee is to give witnesses an opportunity to clarify their testimony, and that is what Mr. Cohen has done", Cummings said in a statement.

Whitaker abruptly resigned from the DOJ early this month after saying he would stay on after the confirmation of Attorney General Bill Barr.

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