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By Ken Dilanian
The House and Senate Intelligence Committees are examining whether any effort was made to influence Michael Cohen through discussions about a pardon after his home and office were searched by the FBI in April, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.
The inquiry about pardon discussions was first reported by The Washington Post.
Lanny Davis, a spokesman for Cohen, declined to comment, as did Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for the president.
During closed testimony last week before both committees, Cohen testified about possible pardon discussions, the sources said, but they declined to discuss the details.
The intent of the inquiry, the sources said, was to determine whether there was any effort to obstruct justice.
When Cohen’s properties were searched, it became known that he was in deep legal trouble over his business dealings. By that time, he had already lied to Congress about the timing of the Trump Tower Moscow project, and, according to him, President Donald Trump knew he had lied.
Congress wants to know if any effort was made by anyone linked to the White House to keep Cohen from flipping on the president.
It’s not clear what, if any, specific discussions about pardons took place. Cohen later said he would not accept a pardon from the president, broke with Trump, and is now accusing him of a variety of misdeeds.
Trump says Cohen is lying in an effort to get a reduction in his three-year prison sentence.