Lanny Davis: 'Major Turning Point' for Cohen Was Trump's Actions at Putin Summit
Lawyer: 'Cohen will cooperate with everyone.'
Michael Cohen's lawyer said Wednesday that Cohen changed his mind about cooperating with federal authorities after witnessing President Trump's actions at a July summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Cohen, who was Trump’s longtime personal attorney, admitted Tuesday to violating federal campaign finance laws in 2016 by arranging hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal “at the direction” of then-candidate Trump.
Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, said on "America's Newsroom" that Cohen - who once said he'd "take a bullet" for Trump - felt he needed to act out of patriotism.
"[Trump] stood publicly at Helsinki, which was a major turning point for Michael Cohen, and sided with Vladimir Putin over his own intelligence community. ... Michael Cohen was offended, as were most Americans, by Trump standing up and aligning himself with Putin against his own intelligence community," said Davis.
Cohen pleaded guilty to five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.
Trump claimed on Twitter that the charges Cohen admitted to "are not a crime."
Michael Cohen plead guilty to two counts of campaign finance violations that are not a crime. President Obama had a big campaign finance violation and it was easily settled!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018
Davis responded by saying Trump "committed a federal crime" by directing Cohen to make the payments. He said the idea that a sitting president cannot be indicted is not a "settled" issue.
Sandra Smith noted that in other interviews, Davis suggested Cohen has information to provide to Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Russian election interference. Davis said it's a "possibility" but the issue will be up to Mueller.
"[Cohen] will cooperate with everyone because he is committed to telling the truth. That's a general statement. I can't give you a specific answer regarding Mr. Mueller or anyone else," he said.
In a CBS interview, Davis said Cohen possesses knowledge about "matters that would be of interest to the special counsel relating to pre-knowledge [by Trump] of computer hacking" of the Democrats by Russia in 2016.
Davis, who served in the past as an attorney for Bill and Hillary Clinton, later scoffed at the idea that a special counsel should investigate the Clintons, saying the allegations of crimes by the Clintons are not based in fact.
Watch the full interview above.