Lanny Davis, the former counsel to President Clinton who has been representing former Trump attorney Michael Cohen in his legal troubles, said the ex-“fixer” for Trump will publicly reveal all he knows after special counsel Robert Mueller releases a final report in the Russia campaign influence probe.
Cohen was sentenced Wednesday in Manhattan to three years in prison as Southern District of New York prosecutors fought back against Cohen’s request for no jail time on his guilty pleas related to tax evasion, making false statements to financial institutions, illegal campaign contributions, and making false statements to Congress.
Mueller had argued for more leniency than the SDNY, saying Cohen has “provided relevant and useful information concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the 2017–2018 time period” and “has gone to significant lengths to assist the Special Counsel’s investigation.”
Southern District prosecutors allege that President Trump ordered Cohen to commit two crimes in paying hush money to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who both say they had affairs with Trump.
“The irony is today is the day I am getting my freedom back as you sit at the bench and you contemplate my fate. I have been living in a personal and mental incarceration ever since the fateful day that I accepted the offer to work for a famous real estate mogul whose business acumen I truly admired. In fact, I now know that there is little to be admired,” Cohen told the judge before his sentencing. “I want to be clear. I blame myself for the conduct which has brought me here today, and it was my own weakness, and a blind loyalty to this man that led me to choose a path of darkness over light. It is for these reasons I chose to participate in the elicit act of the president rather than to listen to my own inner voice which should have warned me that the campaign finance violations that I later pled guilty to were insidious.”
“Recently, the president tweeted a statement calling me weak, and he was correct, but for a much different reason than he was implying,” Cohen added. “It was because time and time again I felt it was my duty to cover up his dirty deeds rather than to listen to my own inner voice and my moral compass. My weakness can be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump, and I was weak for not having the strength to question and to refuse his demands.”
U.S. District Judge William Pauley recommended that Cohen serve his sentence at FCI Otisville, a white-collar penitentiary once dubbed one of “America’s 10 cushiest prisons” by Forbes.
Davis told MSNBC that he’s now no longer a lawyer for Cohen but “an adviser and a friend,” and said Cohen’s “John Dean” tell-all moment will come “not before Mr. Mueller does his work, and makes his report.”
Davis said Cohen wants to tell “the truth about what he knows about Donald Trump that led him to what I believe is a genuine change in himself, to change and tell the truth because he found the president, Donald Trump, as dangerous to his family and to the country.”
“There were multiple, emotional, personal changes that occurred in Michael Cohen after Donald Trump became president, leading him to call me in long, heartfelt conversations about the changes he was undergoing, the regrets that he had,” he added, stressing that he wouldn’t be answering now “questions that only Mr. Mueller knows the answers to and let him give the answers, and then Mr. Cohen, I hope, will be elaborating.”
Trump has not yet commented on the sentencing.
“’Michael Cohen asks judge for no Prison Time.’ You mean he can do all of the TERRIBLE, unrelated to Trump, things having to do with fraud, big loans, Taxis, etc., and not serve a long prison term? He makes up stories to get a GREAT & ALREADY reduced deal for himself, and get his wife and father-in-law (who has the money?) off Scott Free,” Trump tweeted on Dec. 3. “He lied for this outcome and should, in my opinion, serve a full and complete sentence.”