Only a few short days ago, Michael Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis, a longtime Clinton operative and lawyer, was all over the press telling them exactly what they wanted to hear: His client was flipping hard on President Trump, he was going to spill all the beans in the basket, and the world would be shocked at just how much secret information Cohen had hidden up his sleeve. He was going to tell Robert Mueller that Trump knew all about that Trump Tower meeting with the Russian lawyer ahead of time and gave his son and Paul Manafort the explicit directive to go forward with it. He was also going to enlighten the special counsel on what Trump knew about the Russian hacks, including the fact that he knew the DNC emails would be released to the public.
All of this was printed breathlessly by CNN, the Washington Post, and other outlets who apparently never took into consideration the fact that Davis was trying to get his client a sweetheart deal with New York federal prosecutors. Nor that he’s been involved in Democrat politics for quite some time and would love nothing more than to follow Michael Avenatti’s blueprint for instant media fame.
If they had taken those things into account, they might have exercised just a bit of caution when printing Davis’s claims. Then again, you have to assume that when a lawyer is on television telling the world all about what his client is prepared to say, he’s actually getting this information…from his client!
That’s apparently not the case here, however, because now Davis is backing away from his earlier assertions.
A few days ago, the Washington Post reported – based on their conversations with Davis himself – that Cohen had personally watched as Don Jr. told his father about the impending Trump Tower meeting, which was characterized as a way to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Now Davis says: Uh, nevermind.
“I should have been more clear — including with you — that I could not independently confirm what happened,” Davis said. “I regret my error.”
Well, no one needed you to “independently confirm” it. What does that mean? Talk to your client? Why were you out peddling this nonsense if you didn’t get it from Cohen?
“Michaels Cohen’s attorney clarified the record, saying his client does not know if President Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting (out of which came nothing!),” Trump tweeted Saturday. “The answer is that I did NOT know about the meeting. Just another phony story by the Fake News Media!”
Furthermore, Davis said as recently as Wednesday that Cohen would talk to Mueller about the Russian hackers.
“I believe that Mr. Cohen has direct knowledge that would be of interest to Mr. Mueller that suggests — I’m not sure it proves — that Mr. Trump was aware of Russian government agents hacking illegally, committing computer crimes, to the detriment of the candidate who he was running against, Hillary Clinton,” Davis said on PBS.
Turns out that was a big fat lie – or at least a wild guess – as well.
“I am not sure,” Davis said Saturday about whether or not Trump knew of the hacking beforehand. “There’s a possibility that is the case. But I am not sure.”
So, there’s basically only two possibilities here. One, Cohen has flipped and then flipped back, and now he’s suddenly clamming up and leaving his lawyer out there in public to look like a fool. Two, Davis was just blowing hot air in an attempt to get a better deal from Mueller and now, for whatever reason, he’s starting to see why that was a bad idea. We suppose there’s a third possibility: That Davis was so excited about getting his face on TV that he just started making things up and going into business for himself. If the latter is true, we’ll expect that Cohen will fire him imminently. If it’s one of the others, we’ll be interested to find out which.