Trump claims Michael Cohen asked him 'directly' for pardon

64 percent of U.S. voters believe Trump committed a crime before he became president, poll shows

It alleges breach of contract and seeks damages on Cohen's behalf.

President Donald Trump lashed out at his former lawyer Michael Cohen on Twitter Friday, accusing him of lying again before Congress and claiming he personally asked for a pardon.

Cohen also submitted copies of checks signed by the president he said were written to reimburse him for the $130,000 Cohen paid to porn actress Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels, in exchange for her silence about an extramarital affair with Trump.

Some of these costs related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe as well as "multiple congressional hearings".

"Michael Cohen has proven with documents and facts that the president of the United States has lied and committed crimes", one of his attorneys, Lanny Davis, said in a statement.

During open testimony before the House Oversight Committee last month, Cohen said he had never attempted to secure a pardon. He was sentenced in December to three years in prison, and his term is expected to begin May 6.

This article has been adapted from its original source. But investigators want to know if the prospects of presidential pardons were somehow offered or used inappropriately.

Cohen told Congress that Trump was a racist, a liar and a con man.

Republican lawmakers have questioned why they should believe Cohen since he lied to them once before.

"I think that that, to me, was a moment that must have struck fear in President Trump and his family, and anyone who works in the Trump organization".

Congressional investigators are also looking into whether anyone on Trump's legal team tried quietly to reach out to Cohen a year ago before he turned on the president and as his legal problems mounted.

The prospect of a Cohen pardon was raised a couple of times between Cohen's lawyer and attorneys representing the President, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

The move comes after Michael Cohen's lawyer confirmed that his client's former attorney had sounded out Trump's legal team about the possibility of a pardon, which had been "dangled" before his client.

Cohen has become a key figure in congressional investigations after turning on his former boss and co-operating with special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

Weisselberg's name also emerged a year ago when CNN obtained and published audio of a 2016 conversation between Mr. Trump and Cohen in which the two discuss a payment to a former Playboy model.

At the time Ryan asked about a pardon, several White House lawyers dismissed the idea - but not Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.

Cohen on Thursday sued the Trump Organization over its decision to stop paying his legal bills, which Trump declared to be "the most ridiculous suit I've ever seen".

Cohen was one of Trump's lawyers and closest advisers for a decade until their public split last summer.

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