Lanny Davis: No New Evidence, Just ‘Mr. Cohen’s Word Versus Mr. Trump’s’

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JOEL B. POLLAK

Lanny Davis, the attorney for President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press Daily on Wednesday that he is not aware of any additional evidence to corroborate Cohen’s claims that Trump “directed” him to break campaign finance laws.

Davis, a former adviser and counsel to President Bill Clinton, who published a book earlier this year urging that Trump be removed from office, told Todd that Cohen “said in court, under oath, using words provided and corroborated by prosecutors, that the President of the United States committed a felony.”

He went on to claim that if Cohen is guilty of “pay[ing] money to keep somebody silent for the principal purpose of political effect, that’s a crime, that’s a felony.” Davis did not name the relevant crime, but went on to say: “If that’s guilty, then the client who instructed and coordinated him doing that, hiding the fact that he was behind it, is also guilty of the same crime.”

Todd pressed Davis about whether prosecutors had additional evidence, “more than just Michael Cohen’s word,” to corroborate Cohen’s claims.

Davis merely said that Trump and his lawyers had admitted that money was paid and that evidence of the payment existed.

Todd returned to the question later:

Todd: [D]o they have evidence on one specific charge, this idea that President Trump, then-candidate Trump, directed Michael Cohen to do this? Other than Michael Cohen’s word that the president directed him to do this, do they have other physical evidence that the president directed Michael Cohen? I understand the physical evidence of the money transfers and all of that. But does he have evidence — is it more taped conversations? Is that the evidence?

Davis: Well, the prosecutors may have evidence they haven’t revealed. All I’ve read is the criminal information in which they state that there are individuals from the Trump campaign and from the Trump Organization who were involved, and Mr. [Rudy] Giuliani said, yes, Mr. Trump knew that he had to reimburse Mr. Cohen for the advance made for this payment. Is there any independent evidence that Mr. Trump said to Mr. Cohen, “You need to do this, I don’t want to do this?” That may come down to Mr. Cohen’s word versus Mr. Trump’s. And we’ll have to just, now that there’s a guilty plea, wait and see if Mr. Trump is willing under oath to say what Mr. Cohen said under oath, which is that he was directed to Mr. Trump to do this.

Davis also told Todd that the FBI had raided Cohen for “everything he ever possessed,” which suggests that the government might have any additional evidence on Cohen’s part, if it existed.

Among the charges to which Cohen pleaded guilty on Tuesday was a charge of bank fraud, which could be used to impeach Cohen’s credibility in any subsequent judicial proceedings.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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