Michael Cohen‘s former lawyer, Lanny Davis, said Sunday that the “incessant attacks” President Trump has leveled against his former client are because Trump views Cohen as the “greatest threat to his presidency.”
“This pattern of incessant attacks on my client and his family show what the American people have already witnessed, that Donald Trump sees Michael Cohen, and I would say justifiably, as the greatest threat to his presidency and what could be criminal and impeachable actions,” Davis said on MSNBC’s “Kasie DC.”
The comments from the prominent Washington attorney come a few days after the announcement that Trump‘s former personal attorney and fixer would testify in public before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Elijah Cummings of Maryland.
Trump has repeatedly criticized Cohen since his former lawyer agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors after his guilty pleas last August. Trump was interviewed by Fox News over the weekend and said that his former attorney was going public with his testimony in order to “to get his sentence reduced.”
Trump also said, mysteriously, that Cohen “should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that’s the one that people want to look at.”
This is the first time that Cohen’s father-in-law has been mentioned in the case, and the reference by the president has no clear or apparent meaning.
Trump’s hostile comments toward Cohen raised alarms from three powerful House Democrats, all of whom chair important committees. On Sunday they released a statement warning Trump against “any action to obstruct” oversight efforts from congressional committees.
Davis also accused the president of attempting “to intimidate a witness” with his statements about Cohen’s father-in-law, which might be viewed as a threat.
Cohen’s attorney also commented that “I and most Americans have no idea what Trump is fantasizing about in demonizing the father-in-law of Cohen.”
In August of last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to several federal charges, including one count of lying to Congress. Last December he was given a sentence of three years in prison. Since pleading guilty he has been voluntarily cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation. He has reportedly met with Mueller’s team several times and spent many hours talking to them, providing them with information about the Trump Organization and his contacts at the White House.
Davis confirmed that his client has information that the Oversight Committee would like to hear about but about which Cohen will likely be unable to testify. This is because any topic that is currently being investigated by Mueller is “off limits” and can’t be disclosed to the committee.
According to Davis, Cohen does have an agenda for his testimony. He said that his client would disclose “the lying, the immorality” and “the willingness to abuse people who work for him” from Trump.
There is no question that Cohen’s testimony will be devastating to Donald Trump, especially if it is televised or otherwise made public.
Republicans and the conservative media have already begun to try to destroy Cohen’s credibility, calling him a criminal and a liar. But this defense of Trump won’t work, because all of Cohen’s lies and crimes were committed at the request of and for the benefit of Donald Trump himself. And the president also participated in the crimes and lies.
A large majority of the American people will know that Cohen is telling the truth in his public testimony. After he reveals what he knows about Donald Trump while the whole world is watching, Trump‘s approval rating will plummet even more than it already has. He will have no chance of being reelected, and he will probably bring the rest of the Republican Party down with him.
So Lanny Davis is probably correct: Michael Cohen is indeed the greatest threat to the Trump presidency.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.