Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former lawyer, pleaded guilty charges involving bank fraud, tax fraud, and campaign finance violations. Cohen's attorney said that Cohen is not hoping that his former client will issue him a pardon for his crimes. (Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
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Now that Michael Cohen had pleaded guilty to eight federal charges, many are left wondering if he's hoping to receive a presidential pardon.
But Lanny Davis, Cohen's attorney, insisted during a "Today" show interview that Cohen is not hoping that his former client will issue him a pardon for his crimes. Cohen could end up in prison for up to 63 months, according to the plea deal he made on Tuesday in a Southern District of New York court.
"Not only is he not hoping for it, he would not accept a pardon. He considers a pardon from somebody who has acted so corruptly as president to be something he would never accept," David said Wednesday during the interview.
Davis claimed that Cohen has hit the "reset button" on his life and has many regrets.
"He's turned his life from what he did for Donald Trump, much of which he now regrets and would love to do redos, but he decided fundamentally that his family and his country were his priorities ...
"That's the turn in his life, hitting the reset button to tell the truth from now on and what caused that is a complicated evolution but he certainly found Donald Trump as president to be unsuitable to hold the office after Helsinki," Davis continued, referring to a summit with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in July. "He worried about the future of our country with somebody who was aligning himself with Mr. Putin.”
What were the campaign finance violations?
Cohen told a judge on Tuesday that he was “directed to violate campaign law at the direction of a candidate for federal office. At the same candidate’s direction, he said he paid $130,000 to somebody to keep them quiet, which was later repaid by the candidate," according to a Bloomberg report.
He also admitted to making an illegal contribution of $150,000, which was the amount former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal received from the National Enquirer’s publisher in an effort to silence her. The practice is called, catch and kill.
Cohen did not name the candidate in court.
Multiple sources have confirmed that Cohen’s plea deal will not require him to cooperate with prosecutors, which would seem to indicate that Cohen has not struck a deal that would require him to testify against President Trump.
Is he credible?
Davis said that there's no question to Cohen's credibility regarding the campaign finance violations.
"When your own lawyers are testifying against the client, that's called definitive evidence," Davis explained. "They said to the special counsel president Trump directed — the word that used was used in court yesterday — so there's no dispute on that."
"His attorneys wrote the special counsel and said that President Trump directed Michael Cohen to do this so the issue of whether he's credible or not has no relevance here," Davis said. "His lawyers are his witnesses against the president as complicit in this crime."
Does Cohen have other evidence against the president?
Davis wouldn't commit to whether or not there was further evidence against the president.
"Well, he said under oath the most damaging definitive information yesterday, that the president of the United States directed him to commit a crime," Davis said during the interview. "Meaning the president committed the crime and covered it up because he didn't sign the check to keep quiet the affairs with the two women."
Cohen once said he would “take a bullet” for the president, but his relationship with the president has taken a notably sour public turn over the last couple months as his legal troubles have intensified.
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