Michael Cohen‘s lawyer Lanny Davis appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday with some strong words about President Donald Trump. He also shed some light on his client’s attitude to the ongoing legal issues involving Cohen and the president.
There had been speculation that with Cohen shifting away from his loyalty to his former client Trump, that he was really trying to use leverage to get the president to grant him a pardon in relation to the ongoing criminal investigation that included a raid of Cohen’s home, hotel room, and office. When host George Stephanopoulos asked about whether Cohen wanted a pardon, Davis set the record straight.
“No,” he said simply. His overall message regarding Cohen was that his client just wants the facts to get out in the open.
“Michael Cohen has turned a corner in his life and he’s now dedicated to telling the truth,” Davis said.
According to Davis, truth is something the president and his legal team struggle with quite a bit. He addressed the recording of a conversation between Cohen and Trump, in which they can be heard discussing what is believed to be a payment regarding Karen McDougal‘s story that she allegedly had an affair with Trump.
In the recording, Cohen can be heard referring to “David,” believed to be National Enquirer publisher David Pecker, a known friend of Trump’s. The tabloid’s parent company had already reached an agreement with McDougal, where they paid her $150,000 for the rights to her story. Trump had supposedly considering buying the story from them, but ultimately did not.
One part of the recording that has been the source of debate is where Trump can be heard saying the words “pay with cash.” Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani insists Trump said, “Don’t pay with cash,” because he wanted documentation of the transaction. Davis said this is completely false, and Trump did not say “don’t.”
“Giuliani can’t make up the words ‘don’t pay,'” he said. “Listen to the tape. The words ‘don’t pay’ are not heard.”
The recording itself was published by CNN Tuesday night, and can be found here.
Later in the interview, Davis made quite the implication regarding the use of cash.
“People who use cash are either drug dealers or mobsters,” he said. Still, when asked whether this was evidence that Trump was engaged in criminal activity, Davis acknowledged it was not.
“No. It’s about truth.”
He then listed several lies that he claims the president has made:
Mr. Trump lied about ‘would’ versus ‘would not’ and what he said to Putin, he lied about denying that he knew anything about the McDougal issue when we know from the tape that he did know, he lied almost about everything including the message as to what happened in the Trump Tower meeting, which Giuliani ultimately had to admit.
Lying, he claims, will be the cause of the president’s downfall.
“Ultimately, Donald Trump is going to be done in by the truth.”
Going back to the substance of the recording, Stephanopoulos asked if the broad language Cohen and Trump used means that they were referring to additional matters besides Karen McDougal. Davis dodged.
“There were things they were worried about that they wanted to take back, and that was what the conversation was about,” he said.
When asked why Cohen was recording conversations with his client in the first place, Davis wouldn’t answer at all.
“Michael Cohen has an answer … and I think he’ll have to give that answer himself. I can’t reveal that.”
[Image via ABC screengrab]