US President Donald Trump is accusing his former personal attorney of again lying under oath, saying Michael Cohen personally asked him for a pardon.
He said that had put the credibility of the lawyer back under the spotlight.
Cohen, addressing a Congressional committee last week in a public hearing, said: “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from President Trump.”
Trump, however, said Cohen told a number of lies, including about wanting a job at the White House and the pardon.
“Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again!” Trump said in a tweet on Friday.
“He’s lied about a lot of things, but when he lied about the pardon, that really was a lie,” Trump earlier told reporters at the White House.
Cohen’s spokesman, Lanny Davis, said that Cohen’s statement to Congress was technically true, as he had never personally asked Trump for a pardon, but rather had “directed” his lawyer to explore a pardon that was being dangled by Trump’s legal team.
Davis said this was before July 2018, when Cohen stopped being part of Trump’s team, and later began to cooperate with prosecutors.
In his testimony to Congress, Cohen indicated Trump may have committed illegal acts while in office.
Cohen is set to go to jail in May for bank and tax fraud, campaign finance violations and previously lying to Congress about a real estate deal in Moscow he was involved in for the Trump Organisation.
Cohen this week launched a $1.9 million lawsuit against his former employer, saying he has not received payments for his expenses since he began to cooperate with prosecutors.