- Lanny Davis is a lawyer and public relations consultant who is best known for serving as public counsel in the Clinton White House. In July, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, hired Davis to represent him.
Cohen, once famous for saying that he would “take a bullet for the president,” pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, tax fraud, and a host of other crimes on August 21. He told the court that Trump had directed him to pay out hush money to two women who allegedly had affairs with Trump. You can read more about Cohen’s plea deal here.
In a series of interviews on August 21, Davis said that Michael Cohen had information that would be “of interest” to special counsel Robert S. Mueller and that his client was “more than happy to tell the special counsel all that he knows.”
Here’s what you need to know about Lanny Davis.
1. Davis Is a Fierce Clinton Loyalist Who Says The Election Was Stolen From Hillary
Lanny Davis, who worked as White House Special Counsel under Bill Clinton, is a staunch supporter of both Bill and Hillary Clinton. He attended Yale Law School with Hillary and says that he has been friendly with her and with Bill ever since.
Davis repeatedly defended Hillary Clinton when she came under attack for her email and server use during the 2016 presidential campaign.
And he went so far as to say that Clinton would have won the 2016 election — if it hadn’t been for James Comey and the timing of his investigation. Davis said that Comey’s letter to Congress, announcing that he was investigating Clinton’s emails, swung the election decisively in Trump’s favor.
Davis made the case in a book, The Unmasking of the Presidency. He argued that Comey’s letter came at the worst possible time for Hillary: just a few weeks before the election itself, so that she had no time to address the issues before Americans went to the polls.
2. Davis Is a Fox News Contributor Who Also Served Under President George W. Bush
Lanny Davis is a regular contributor to Fox News. He also has a column in the Hill. Davis normally writes from a pro-Democrat point of view, and has often written pieces in support of Hillary Clinton.
But Davis has also worked for Republicans. In 2005, then-President George W. Bush appointed Davis to serve on his Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. The board was created in 2005 by an act on Congress, and was tasked with reporting to the president about any civil liberties or human rights concerns that came up, during the government’s war on terrorism.
3. Davis Is a Family Man Who Has Described Himself As “Mr. Mom”
Davis grew up in Jersey City, the son of a dentist and an office manager. He was a hardworking, ambitious young man. His first marriage ended in divorce. A few years after the divorce, Davis married a young dancer named Carolyn Atwell.
He got custody of his two children, Margo and Seth, and he devoted himself to raising them, teaching himself how to cook and keep house. His children apparently have fond memories of exploding turkeys and other dramatic mishaps as their father learned his way around the kitchen. Davis described himself as a real “Mr. Mom,” and is still very close to his children.
Davis and his second wife also have two sons together, Jeremy and Joshua. Davis has written fondly about his relationship with the two boys.
4. Davis Said He Agreed to Work For Michael Cohen Because He Could See Cohen Was “Sincere”
Many people were surprised to see Clinton defender Davis going to work for Michael Cohen. After all, Cohen is the guy who once said that he would “take a bullet” for Donald Trump. But the one-time Trump lawyer has gradually been distancing himself from the president. He has removed all references to Trump from his twitter account. And on July 2, he gave an interview saying that he was first and foremost loyal to his family. The implication was that he was putting his own needs, and his family’s needs, ahead of the needs of the president.
Davis watched the interview, and said he admired it. That’s when he decided that he’d like to work for Cohen. Davis said, “I recognized his sincerity. Michael Cohen deserves to tell his side of the story — subject, of course, to the advice of counsel.”
5. Lanny Davis Has Been Calling Out Trump’s Lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, On Social Media
Trump’s personal lawyer (and the former mayor of New York) Rudy Giuliani went on the Sunday talk shows to say that Trump has nothing to hide, and that Michael Cohen should absolutely cooperate fully with federal investigators. This flew in the face of reports that Trump is actually more nervous about the Michael Cohen investigation than he is about the Mueller investigation.
In any case, Davis was watching what Giuliani said, and he responded quickly on twitter. Davis said, Did @rudygiuliani really say on Sunday shows that @michaelcohen212 should cooperate with prosecutors and tell the truth? Seriously? Is that Trump and Giuliani definition of “truth”? Trump/Giuliani next to the word “truth” = oxymoron. Stay tuned. #thetruthmatters