As the attorneys for Michael Cohen struggle to get Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings not to fulfill his promise to refer Cohen for prosecution for any perjury in his recent testimony, Cohen has released a shocking email from April 2018 in which Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is quoted as telling Cohen to effectively not worry about his situation because he has “friends in high places.” The email telling Cohen to “sleep well” was part of a “back channel” communication with A lawyer told Cohen in an email in April 2018 that he can “sleep well” because he has “friends in high places,” following an alleged “back channel” communication with Cohen lawyer Robert J. Costello.
If Giuliani made such a truly moronic statement, it could present deepen allegations of obstruction. While Giuliani is quoted as saying that the President was not prepared to offer a pardon at this time, it is hard not to read those words and conclude that a pardon was being dangled in front of Cohen to keep him from cooperating. The use of a “back channel” also mirrored communications with Paul Manafort after he became a cooperating witness with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
The problem is that in April 2018 Cohen was clearly a potential witness against Trump. We now know, despite Cohen’s countervailing testimony, that Cohen did actively seek a pardon.
The Trump team is likely to argue that it was merely telling Cohen that he did not have to worry about being bullied and threatened by Mueller — part of its claim that the Special Counsel investigation was a hoax and witch hunt. They will argue that they did not encourage any change in testimony but merely expressed the same mutual support as contained in the joint defense agreement. However, few people would not see such a statement as highly problematic.
What do you think?