Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS
Michael Cohen, former personal attorney for US President Donald Trump. Picture: REUTERS

Washington/New York — Michael Cohen’s attorney says US Congress should open an investigation into whether President Donald Trump directed his longtime fixer to commit a crime.

"There is most certainly enough evidence now" for Congress to open a probe, Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, said in response to a question in a Bloomberg TV interview on Wednesday about whether Congress should pursue impeachment proceedings.

Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegal campaign-finance charges over hush money paid to a porn actress and a former Playboy model — all but naming Trump as having ordered him to do it.

Cohen also pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion and bank fraud as the president’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, was convicted on eight charges.

Cohen would not accept a presidential pardon, his attorney said, and he wanted no part in what Trump’s former adviser saw as the president’s abuse of his clemency power. Cohen also questioned Trump’s loyalty to the US and saw him as unfit to hold office, his attorney, Lanny Davis, said in a round of television interviews.

Trump derided Cohen in a tweet early on Wednesday and said he didn’t think the two campaign finance violations were crimes at all.

"This would be the first time in American history that we have evidence of a crime of a president in office, with somebody pleading guilty to a crime and saying that he was directed to commit that crime by a president," Davis said.

Davis said that his client — Trump’s longtime personal lawyer and fixer — is "willing to co-operate with anyone who asks him questions," adding that he is "100% going to tell the truth".

Earlier on Wednesday, Davis told CNN that Cohen has knowledge that would be of interest to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether there was collusion with Trump or members of his campaign.

Bloomberg, Reuters