Cohen asked him for pardon but lied in court about it: Trump

WASHINGTON (Sputnik): US President Donald Trump said in a statement on Friday that his former lawyer Michael Cohen directly asked him for a pardon and was rejected, and later lied under oath in court about the matter.

“Bad lawyer and fraudster Michael Cohen said under sworn testimony that he never asked for a pardon. His lawyers totally contradicted him. He lied!,” Trump said. “Additionally, he directly asked me for a pardon. I said NO. He lied again!”

Trump said Cohen lied in court yet again with respect to whether he desired a position at the White House, saying his former lawyer wanted such a post “badly.”

This follows last week’s hearing when Cohen alleged that Trump played a role in hush money payments to women that may have violated campaign finance laws.

He also accused the president of committing crimes including campaign finance violations and potential tax fraud.

Last year, Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for lying to Congress, fraud, tax evasion and making unlawful campaign contributions, including “hush money” payments to women who claimed they had relations with Trump.

He is due to report to prison on May 6.

Also, Manafort was earlier sentenced to 47 months in prison in the US state of Virginia over bank and tax fraud related to his work in Ukraine. However, Manafort’s lawyer, Kevin Downing, told reporters that the trial of the ex-Trump aide has found no evidence of any collusion with Russia.

US President Donald Trump highlighted in a tweet that no collusion with Russia occurred, adding that this was stated loudly by the judge and the lawyer who dealt with the Paul Manafort case.

The US president’s remark comes after Manafort’s lawyer Kevin Downing told reporters that the trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort found no evidence of any collusion with Russia.

Manafort faced up to 25 years in prison for tax and bank fraud, and additional time for conspiracy counts including those related to work he did for the Ukraine government. Judge T.S. Ellis during the hearing on Thursday said the government’s sentencing request of 19 to 24 years was “excessive” and sentenced Manafort to 47 months instead.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been investigating claims that Russia meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, as well as allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Moscow.