Washington, D.C. lawyer Lanny Davis, best known for his work for the Clinton White House, is now representing Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney. Davis confirmed the news, which was first reported on Twitter by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, to The Daily Beast.
Cohen has not been charged with any crimes, but his legal problems have escalated dramatically over the past few months. In April, FBI agents raided his home, hotel room, and office in Manhattan. Lengthy court proceedings followed to determine what documents—some of which had been put through a shredder—were subject to attorney-client privilege. A court-appointed special master ultimately assessed that the feds could take a whopping 1.3 million items to potentially use as evidence, as USA Today reported.
ABC News released a lengthy interview with Cohen on the day that news broke. It was his first major public conversation since his legal problems materialized, and in it, he suggested that he would be open to cooperating with investigators.
“My wife, my daughter and my son have my first loyalty and always will,” he said. “I put family and country first.”
Davis said in a statement that the interview struck a chord with him.
“Like most of America, I have been following the matter regarding Michael Cohen with great interest,” Davis said. “As an attorney, I have talked to Michael many times in the last two weeks. Then I read his words published on July 2, and I recognized his sincerity. Michael Cohen deserves to tell his side of the story—subject, of course, to the advice of counsel.”
Cohen is not the only person in the broader Trump/Russia orbit whom Davis represents. The attorney is also co-counsel for Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash, an ally of former Paul Manafort client Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort, who has been indicted for a host of crimes by special counsel Robert Mueller, once reached out to Firtash about a real estate deal in New York. Firtash is under indictment in the Northern District of Illinois, and has been fighting extradition from his residence in Austria. Besides Davis, he is represented by former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb and former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.
A person close to Davis’s law firm said there is “absolutely no conflict whatsoever” for Davis in representing both men.
Cohen isn’t Davis’s first celebrity client. The lawyer also represented Martha Stewart and the Penn State Board of Trustees through the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Attorney Alan Dershowitz, a friend of Davis’s, praised Cohen’s decision to retain him.
“He’s the perfect lawyer to advise him as to which of several tactics he should take,” Dershowitz said. “Obviously one is cooperating, another litigating, another seeking a pardon—there are a lot of tactics available. Another making some legal motions. He’ll think of everything. He’s a brilliant tactician. So Cohen’s a lucky man.”