Cohen Moves To Fend Off New Perjury Charge Over Pardon Statement

I previously wrote about the dilemma in which Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings finds himself with the widely viewed perjury of Michael Cohen before his committee. Cummings repeatedly asserted that he would refer Cohen for prosecution for any false or misleading statement. Cohen proceeded to do just that. Now, Cohen and some Democratic members are struggling to avoid the obvious. Cohen has again made himself useful and now it is the Democrats who are protecting him from prosecution. This includes the decision of New York Democrats to hit Paul Manafort with a series of new charges while conspicuously ignoring Michael Cohen’s possible state offenses. Cohen is again useful and thus immune. It appears to have worked. Despite his dramatic promises of swift and certain action, Cummings is now saying that he will not pursue any charges. It is wonderful to be useful.

Despite multiple conflicting sources, Cohen has insisted, “I was extremely proud to be the personal attorney for the president of the United States of America. I did not want to go to the White House. I was offered jobs.” There is little ambiguity here. Either multiple witnesses lied or Cohen once again lied to Congress.

Then Cohen stated, “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump.” That also directly contradicts multiple sources who say his lawyer pressed the White House for a pardon, and that Cohen unsuccessfully sought a presidential pardon after FBI raids on his office and residences last year.

Before Cohen testified, Cummings asked if he remembered the choice he was given to testify truthfully or be nailed to the cross. “Didn’t I tell you that?” Cummings asked. “Yes, you did, more than once,” Cohen replied. He proceeded to choose crucifixion by giving testimony that many in the media have described as perjurious. Now it appears that, if you are useful against the President, there is crucifixion and then there is crucifixion. Cohen’s is more like a letter of explanation type of crucifixion.

Cohen’s attorney Michael Monico wrote the Committee to try to deal with one of these glaring conflicts. The problem is that it has been widely reported that Cohen did seek a pardon and even sent his former lawyer, Stephen Ryan, to discuss a pardon with Trump’s lawyers in the weeks after FBI agents raided Cohen’s home, office and hotel room. So Monico had work to do. He admits now that Cohen did direct his attorney to seek a pardon. That would seem on its face to mean that he lied. However, here is the spin: Cohen did not really mean “never” when he said “never.” Rather, “The sentence was written in the context of Mr. Cohen’s decision in June 2018 to leave the Trump Joint Defense Agreement (the ‘JDA’) and to tell the truth. Further, Mr. Cohen rejected the opportunity to ask for and receive a pardon even though he knew he was going to prison with hardships to his family.”

Accordingly, Cohen said that he “stands by his statement.” What is really bizarre is that he insists that his testimony “could have been clearer and more complete.”

Of course, Cohen is hoping that, just as “never” does not have to mean “never,” it might also be true that crucifixion does not have to mean crucifixion, or at least a criminal referral.

The decision is now left to Cummings on whether he was serious or just spinning. He has indicated that he is not going to carry out his promise for a swift and certain referral. In truth, Congress often tolerates false or misleading statements when a referral would be inconvenient. Consider cases like James Clapper. Truth like promises is a relative concept on Capitol Hill.

16 thoughts on “Cohen Moves To Fend Off New Perjury Charge Over Pardon Statement”

  1. Socialist leftists will try any reframing or redefining to stay out of the wicked web they wove.

  2. Here is a description of the media in DC: Three spots on the wall by Who Flung Foo.

  3. You say that “He proceeded to choose crucifixion by giving testimony that many in the media have described as perjurious.”

    So people are tried, convicted and sent to jail based on what “the media has described” are they?

      1. True, but the voters are to blame. Instead of electing people who are committed to governing, they keep re-electing clowns who are in Washington to grandstand and play political gotcha games. 🤡

        1. True to an extent. But we voters often do not have the choice of candidates who are committed to governing.

  4. A Joint Defense Agreement is an exception to the rule that attorney client-privilege has been waived when information shared between an attorney and a client is shared with people who are not parties to the attorney-client relationship. When Cohen became a cooperating witness, Cohen waived attorney-client privilege for whatever information Cohen had shared with Trump when the JDA was in force. When Trump shared some of that same information with Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, Trump waived his own attorney-client privilege for whatever information Trump had shared with Cohen when the JDA was in force.

    If the Justice Department is to investigate Cohen’s alleged perjury, then DoJ investigators will have to interview Trump and Trump lawyers without either Trump nor his lawyers asserting attorney-client privilege over what ever information they had shared with Cohen and Cohen’s lawyer when the JDA was in force. If (big if) DoJ investigators uncover evidence of Trump and Trump’s lawyers dangling pardons to Cohen in exchange for Cohen’s previous false testimony to Congress, then Trump’s entire JDA with an estimated 34 people or more, including Flynn and Manafort, can be investigated as an ongoing criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice.

    If you are utterly convinced of Trump’s innocence on everything, then go ahead on and investigate Cohen for perjury. But I have to wonder: Are you sure? Are you really sure?

    1. your understanding of how privilege works is theoretical. in practice it gets a lot more deference than that. and in practice concerning the POTUS it darn sure will get a lot more respect than you have for it.

      privilege is a constitutional civil right of due process and the right to counsel, not just an impediment to your satisfaction

      1. Problem is Mr. Kurtz, some privilege has more satisfaction. Have two people go in court charged with the same crime, same circumstances, identical in every way. One has the means and high priced lawyers, the other court appointed. Then tell us how due process works. Factor race and you have a whole new ballgame. Justice is not blind. You claim to be a lawyer? You know better.

        1. yes money is a factor in securing due process., of course. so what? that is a reality but it does not refute what i am saying,. if anything, your comment illuminates why “late” was making an unrealistic comment that was basically wishful thinking

          as for me being a lawyer, i am one, and it’s no crown of glory believe me.
          back to the grindstone

          1. “money is a factor in securing due process, of course, so what “? So in other words you are a lawyer for only those who can afford due process? With that kind of logic from a so-called lawyer I hope to hell you stay out of the court room.

      2. The Unlettered Pretender said, ” . . . in practice concerning the POTUS it [attorney-client privilege] darn sure will get a lot more respect than you have for it.”

        The POTUS has the pardon power. A citizen who enters into a JDA with The POTUS enters into a JDA with the one and only person who has the pardon power. If the one and only person who has the pardon power (The POTUS) shares information that he acquired while that JDA was in force with Republicans on the House Oversight Committee for the express purpose of provoking a criminal referral to the DoJ to investigate perjury alleged against a citizen with whom that POTUS had had a JDA, then that POTUS has waived attorney-client privilege just as assuredly as had that citizen who had had that JDA with the POTUS.

        The JDA cannot be a shield behind which The POTUS, but only the POTUS, who alone has the pardon power, can hide his efforts to suborn perjury, to tamper with witnesses and otherwise to obstruct justice without thoroughly making The POTUS, but The POTUS, alone, above the law.

        The attorney-client privilege is an extension of The Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in conjunction with the right to counsel. Whenever attorneys or their clients share information with people who are not parties to that attorney-client relationship, the attorney-client privilege is thereby waived. The Joint Defense Agreement is an exception to rule for waiving privilege only for codefendants who common interests at sharing information for the purpose of devising a joint defenses strategy. The moment those codefendants no longer have joint defense interests in common, the rule for waiving attorney-client privilege immediately takes precedence over whatever information those former codefendants had shared together while the JDA was in force.

        Git thee back to law school, already, you unlettered pretender, you.

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