Rudolph Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, said Sunday that he has counseled the president against granting a pardon to his longtime fixer Michael Cohen, at least for now.
‘‘I have advised the president, which he understands: no discussion of pardons,’’ Giuliani said in an appearance on ABC News’ ‘‘This Week.’’ But he seemed not to rule out that the president might change his mind.
‘‘You can’t abridge your power to do it. That’s something you can decide down the road, one way or the other,’’ Giuliani said.
Cohen, who is Trump’s former attorney and who once famously said that he was prepared to ‘‘take a bullet’’ and ‘‘do anything’’ to protect him, is under intensifying scrutiny from federal prosecutors in Manhattan. They are investigating his business practices, as is the team led by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating matters connected to Cohen as part of the broader probe of Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice by the president.
Federal agents searched Cohen’s home and office in April, and speculation has since mounted that he might turn on Trump and provide evidence to federal officials that could implicate the president or his campaign.
While Giuliani said he had advised Trump against pardoning Cohen, he also argued that to rule out a pardon ‘‘wouldn’t be fair to - to the president, wouldn’t be fair to Cohen, wouldn’t be fair to future presidents. But the fact is there’s no reason for a pardon right now . . . and, quite honestly, it would just confuse everything.’’
In an earlier interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopolous, Cohen said his primary loyalty was to his family and to the United States, a notable change from earlier statements that indicated he would protect Trump above all others.
Giuliani said he was not concerned by the interview.
‘‘Michael Cohen should - should cooperate with the government,’’ he said. ‘‘We have - we have no reason to believe he did anything wrong. The president did nothing wrong with him, so we’ve gone through every document we can. We see no evidence of it.’’