An attorney for Michael Cohen discussed the possibility of a pardon with lawyers for President Donald Trump after federal agents raided his properties last year.
Congressional investigators are now looking into those conversations, according to document requests issued Monday by the House Judiciary Committee to 81 Trump associates, reported the Wall Street Journal.
Stephen Ryan, who was Cohen's attorney at the time, discussed a potential pardon with the president's lawyers in the weeks after FBI agents raided the former Trump Organization attorney's home, office and hotel room, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
The pardon discussions took place while Ryan worked alongside Trump's lawyers to review files seized from Cohen to determine whether they were protected by attorney-client privilege, the newspaper reported.
The president's lawyers -- including Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani and Joanna Hendon -- dismissed the idea at the time, according to the sources.
But Giuliani left open the possibility that Trump might grant one in the future, they said.
“I always give the same answer which is, ‘The president is not going to consider any pardons at this time and nobody should think that he is,’” Giuliani told the newspaper, although he declined to say whether Cohen's counsel contacted him. “Whatever happens in the future, that is his prerogative.”
Ryan also discussed a possible pardon with Alan Futerfas, an outside lawyer for the Trump Organization, and Alan Garten, the company's general counsel, according to some of the sources.
They also said that Ryan hinted to Trump's attorneys that Cohen might cooperate with prosecutors from the Southern District of New York if he could not rely on a pardon.
Cohen testified before the House Oversight Committee last week that he had never asked for a pardon from the president, nor would he accept one, although there was no indication that he had personally asked for the pardon his attorney discussed with Trump's legal counsel.
There's also no indication that Cohen was aware of Ryan's discussions about a pardon.
“Mr. Cohen stands by his testimony before the House Oversight Committee,” said a spokeswoman for the former Trump Organization attorney.