Democratic panel chairman satisfied, for now, with Michael Cohen's answer on pardon

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

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

Cummings's statement came the day after a Cohen attorney sent him a letter clarifying Cohen's remarks and acknowledging he "could have been clearer and more complete" during an exchange about whether he ever sought a pardon from Trump.

Cohen now says he was only referring to a specific period of time in his testimony, according to a letter from his lawyer.

Giuliani told Reuters last week that Costello called him around May 2018 and said, "Cohen has asked me to raise with you, can he get a pardon?"

But the new letter from Monico is unlikely to satisfy Republicans, who have charged Cohen may have committed perjury in his testimony.

Cummings said in a statement Wednesday that "I do not see the need for further action - at least at this time".

Nadler indicated to reporters after the meeting Wednesday - which lasted roughly an hour - that Whitaker's follow-up comments did little to allay his concerns that Whitaker misled the full committee during his public testimony in February, when he refused to answer a question from Nadler about whether he and Trump had discussed the case against his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen in the Southern District of NY.

Giuliani had previously said he never offered anyone a pardon on the president's behalf. He said Cohen had asked a prior lawyer to inquire about a possible pardon because Trump had "publicly dangled the possibility of pardons when commenting about ongoing investigations".

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

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, is flanked by his attorneys Lanny Davis (L) and Michael Monico (R) as he arrives to testify before a House Committee on Oversight and Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 27, 2019.

Cohen has already pleaded guilty to lying to Congress on a previous occasion, and during his appearance last month, Mr. Cummings repeatedly admonished him that his credibility was in doubt and any further lies wouldn't be tolerated.

"This Committee can not stand idly by when a witness comes to a hearing, swears an oath to testify truthfully, and provides material testimony that appears on its face to be demonstrably false", Jordan and Meadows wrote to Cummings, a Maryland Democrat. "Mr. Whitaker said that he did not have conversations with the president about Cohen". Part of the correspondence reportedly included asking if Trump would be willing to put a pardon "on the table" for Cohen.

Mr. Meadows on Twitter also mocked the Cohen lawyers' letter as an exercise in dissembling.

Both women have claimed they had affairs with Trump.

Whitaker claimed, however, that he never brought those concerns to or spoke with anyone at to the SDNY office itself, the GOP counsel on Collins' staff said.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.