NY attorney says feds probing his pardon talks with Cohen

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"That was taken in the context of his job as the acting attorney general where there is discussions in the normal personnel issues".

US lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee emerged from a closed-door meeting with former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker on Wednesday with conflicting accounts of their conversation with the controversial Trump ally.

Whitaker "said he did not talk with the president about Mr. Cohen at all, and had no conversations with the Southern District of New York", Collins told reporters.

Nadler also referred to the Southern District of NY, which is involved in a campaign finance case against Cohen which implicates Mr. Trump.

According to the Republican aides, Whitaker said that those conversations were among other Justice Department staff and that Whitaker said he thought some of the claims in the campaign finance case were "specious" from a legal standpoint.

Attorney Robert Costello said in a statement Wednesday that the records would support his claim that Cohen asked him to broach the possibility of a pardon.

The House Oversight Committee chairman on Wednesday rejected Republican calls for a new investigation into President Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen and whether he again lied to Congress.

Whitaker refused to answer questions about the topic during the hearing.

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Nadler's committee is seeking evidence that Trump may have urged Whitaker to put the investigations under the supervision of Berman, a Trump donor and former law partner of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani who is recused.

After Wednesday's meeting, Nadler said that 'unlike in the hearing room, Mr. Whitaker did not deny that the president called him to discuss the Michael Cohen case'.

The top Democrat and Republican on the House Judiciary Committee disagreed Wednesday over what exactly former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker told them behind closed doors regarding his conversations with President Donald Trump - and the public may never know for sure what was actually said.

"Our practice on this committee is to give witnesses an opportunity to clarify their testimony, and that is what Mr. Cohen has done", Mr. Cummings said.

Speaking with reporters, Nadler said there were three main takeaways from the meeting.

Cohen pleaded guilty as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to making false statements to Congress in 2017 regarding the timeline of a Trump Tower project in Russian Federation.

Whitaker met with Nadler and Collins privately in order to clarify his public testimony last month.

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