Giuliani Says Lawyers Have Sought Trump Pardons for Their Clients

President Trump’s lead lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said Wednesday that lawyers for several people facing scrutiny from the Justice Department in the investigations into the Trump campaign and presidency had contacted him to see whether the president would pardon their clients.

Mr. Giuliani declined to identify the lawyers who broached the subject with him or their clients. He made his statement in response to questions about Mr. Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, who has told federal prosecutors in Manhattan about pardon discussions last year that involved Mr. Giuliani and a lawyer who was expressing interest in representing Mr. Cohen, according to people briefed on the matter.

The disclosure from Mr. Giuliani — and the new details about pardon discussions involving Mr. Cohen — highlighted again the continued questions about Mr. Trump’s pardon power and how he might use it as the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III; other federal prosecutors; and Democrats in Congress investigate his political and business careers.

The discussions acknowledged by Mr. Giuliani demonstrate that, at the very least, some of those under investigation, or their lawyers, believed that it was worthwhile to ask about whether a pardon was on the table.

Mr. Giuliani, who has been representing Mr. Trump since last spring, said he always insisted to defense lawyers that Mr. Trump would not consider granting pardons until the investigations were long over.

Mr. Giuliani’s account of his stance contrasts with the initial approach taken by the first head of Mr. Trump’s legal team, John M. Dowd, who had discussions with lawyers for Paul Manafort and Michael T. Flynn in 2017 about pardons.

And Mr. Giuliani’s statement comes as the White House is seeking to undermine Mr. Cohen’s credibility on a wide range of issues after his scathingly critical testimony about Mr. Trump on Capitol Hill last week.

“I always gave one answer, and they always left disappointed,” Mr. Giuliani said.

Mr. Giuliani said he could not confirm that such a conversation took place with lawyers for Mr. Cohen, citing attorney-client privilege.

 

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