House, Senate panels look at whether excuse was discussed with Michael Cohen


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By Ken Dilanian

House and Senate Intelligence Committees are investigating whether anything was being done to influence Michael Cohen through discussions on congratulations after his home and office was searched by the FBI in April, three sources noted in the case told NBC News.

The request for congratulations discussions was first reported by Washington Post.

Lanny Davis, a spokesman for Cohen, refused to comment, like Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for the president.

Last week, during the last testimony before both committees, Cohen testified of possible excuses, the sources said, but they refused to discuss the details.

Michael Cohen gets emotional listening to Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., Returns his final statement after Cohen testified Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The purpose of the study, the sources said, was to determine if there was any effort to prevent justice.

When Cohen's properties were sought, it became known that he was in deep legal trouble over his business relationship. At that time, he had already lied to Congress about the time of the Trump Tower Moscow project and, according to him, President Donald Trump knew he had lied.

Congress wants to know if any effort has been made by someone attached to the White House to keep Cohen from turning the president.

It is not clear what, if any, specific discussions on pardons took place. Cohen later said he would not accept an apology from the president, broke with Trump and now accused him of a number of misdeeds.

Trump says Cohen is in an attempt to get a reduction in his three-year prison sentence.