Cohen's Lawyer Rips Into Trump, Repeatedly

Lanny Davis makes the morning talk show rounds
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2018 8:17 AM CDT
Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, climb into a vehicle as he leaves federal court after reaching a plea agreement in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018.   (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

(Newser) – The days of Michael Cohen being willing to "take a bullet for" the president are seemingly long gone. He testified on Tuesday that he made hush-money payments to two women "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office." In the wake of his guilty plea on eight counts that include campaign finance violations, Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, made the morning talk show rounds on Wednesday and offered up much more. A sampling of Davis' statements:

  • To Good Morning America: "I can tell you it's my observation that what he knows, that he witnessed, will be of interest to the special counsel. ... Michael Cohen was directed ... to do a criminal act. It was not done by Donald Trump because he had affairs with two women, he did not want the news of those affairs to come out in the last two weeks of the campaign. That is a crime." Davis added that Cohen "will tell the truth to everybody who asks him about Mr. Trump."

  • To NPR's Rachel Martin: "On the issue of violating campaign finance laws ... Donald Trump is guilty of a crime, and a president of the United States being guilty of a crime is far beyond what has been classically been called impeachable offenses. ... He is a criminal." He later said, "Mr. Cohen would never accept a pardon from a man that he considers to be both corrupt and a dangerous person in the Oval Office, and he has flatly authorized me to say under no circumstances would he accept a pardon from Mr. Trump."
  • To the Today Show: "The president 'directed' him to commit a crime, meaning the president committed a crime ... and 'directed' is the word used. There is no dispute on the word 'direction.'" Then later, "Not only is he not hoping [for a pardon], he would not accept a pardon. He considers a pardon from somebody who has acted so corruptly as president to be something he would never accept."
  • To CBS This Morning: "It's not about evidence. It is definitive, indisputable that Donald Trump's lawyers said in a letter to the special counsel that Donald Trump directed ... Michael Cohen to make illegal payments. It's not a dispute. It's not about credibility. His own lawyers used the word directed." Trump "should be indicted. If he were not president he clearly would be indicted and jailed for that crime."
  • To MSNBC's Morning Joe: "In order to get Michael to be able to help, we need help on this fund, MichaelCohenTruthFund.com, we ask everybody to help Michael Cohen tell the truth about Donald Trump." Business Insider notes Davis promoted the GoFundMe campaign at 7:11am EDT, and that within 30 minutes, it went from less than $100 to nearly $12,000. It's currently north of $18,000.
(Read more Michael Cohen stories.)

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