Appearing on MSNBC with host Alex Witt, former Donald Trump attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen cautioned the president against handing his three children — Ivanka, Don Jr and Eric — a preemptive presidential pardon before le leaves office by saying it could open the door to having them testify against him.
After watching video of New York Attorney General Letitia James telling an ABC host that she fully expects the president to pardon his kids, resign and then have Vice President Mike Pence pardon him after assuming power, Cohen suggested Trump would be making a big mistake.
“Do you see him stepping down just before that in time to be issued a pardon as Letitia James is thinking, pardons for his children from federal crimes?” host Witt asked.
“That poses a different problem, and part of the answer to your question is, Donald Trump will only do what benefits Donald Trump,” Cohen began. “So if people tell him, and he gets proper advice that a pre-pardon so to speak would be beneficial to him as well as to his children or some close associates, then he will do it.”
“But what people are telling him is that the pre-pardon is actually something that could hurt him very, very badly with the Tish James case as well as with the [Manhattan District Attorney] Cy Vance case, because if you are pre-pardoned, you no longer have the ability to invoke 5th Amendment because you can’t be charged which means you have to tell the truth,” he added. “That’s the last thing that Donald Trump wants — to have to tell the truth? He doesn’t want his kids to have to tell the truth, or individuals that surround him, because if they do, you still can be charged under the state crimes and some of them overlap. So it’s a very dangerous game that Donald Trump is playing right now with this whole pre-pardon concept.”