Prosecutors Seek Records on Cohen’s ‘Back Channel’ With Giuliani

Prosecutors Seek Records on Cohen’s ‘Back Channel’ With Giuliani

In an email sent the day Mr. Giuliani was named as Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Mr. Costello told Mr. Cohen, “I am sure you saw the news that Rudy is joining the Trump legal team.” He added that he had told Mr. Cohen about his “relationship with Rudy, which could be very very useful for you.” Mr. Cohen wrote back, in part saying, “Great news.”

Within a day, Mr. Costello spoke by phone with Mr. Giuliani to tell him that Mr. Cohen was planning to hire Mr. Costello’s law firm. Soon after that call, Mr. Costello emailed Mr. Cohen to say, “Rudy was thrilled and said this could not be a better situation for the President or you,” noting that Mr. Giuliani knew and trusted Mr. Costello. Mr. Giuliani, he added, “said thank you for opening this back channel of communication.”

Later the same weekend, Mr. Costello sent the email about “friends in high places.” Those two emails were first reported by CNN.

The Times reported last week that Mr. Cohen had described to the prosecutors how Mr. Costello had spoken with Mr. Giuliani. Mr. Costello declined to comment at the time, citing attorney-client privilege, but has since learned that Mr. Cohen waived the privilege, freeing him to discuss his experience with Mr. Cohen.

In the interview, Mr. Costello accused Mr. Cohen of smearing him to the prosecutors as part of a bid to reduce his sentence. He also said that Mr. Cohen repeatedly told him that he had committed no crimes and misled Mr. Costello’s law firm about his intentions to hire them.

“Cohen lied to us from day one,” Mr. Costello said, adding that neither he nor Mr. Giuliani dangled a pardon in front of Mr. Cohen.

A lawyer for Mr. Cohen, Lanny J. Davis, said he could not comment on the documents requested by prosecutors, but suggested it was “impossible to deny or try to spin your way out of what documents say.” He added that Mr. Cohen had clarified his testimony about pardons in a letter to the House committee this week, and that Mr. Cohen stood by his statement to the committee about not having sought a pardon. Mr. Davis said after the testimony that Mr. Cohen had inquired about Mr. Trump’s intentions after the president’s legal team “dangled” the possibility of pardons.

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