President Donald Trump is continuing to bash Michael Cohen, but defense attorney Lanny Davis said that’s because the former fixer is “the greatest threat” to his old boss.
“Donald Trump sees Michael Cohen, and I would say justifiably, as the greatest threat to his presidency and what could be criminal and impeachable actions as president,” Davis, who represents Cohen, told MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt on Sunday.
Davis slammed Trump for Saturday’s Fox News interview in which the president attacked Cohen and his father-in-law as Cohen prepares to publicly testify before Congress next month. Trump claimed Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer, is lying “to get a sentence reduced” and vaguely referenced possible wrongdoing by his father-in-law as “the money in the family.”
“I and most Americans have no idea what President Trump is fantasizing about in demonizing the father-in-law of Michael Cohen ― the father of his wife ― and he won’t even tell us,” Davis said.
The president’s “pattern of incessant attacks” show he feels the walls are closing in, Davis added.
Trump told Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro that Cohen ought to stop trying to give up dirt on him and focus on his own father-in-law.
“He’s in trouble on some loans and fraud and taxi cabs and stuff that I know nothing about, and in order to get a sentence reduced, he says, ’I have an idea. I’ll give you some information on the president,’” Trump said of Cohen. “Well, there is no information. But he should give information maybe on his father-in-law because that’s the one that people want to look at because where does that money ― that’s the money in the family.”
Trump told Pirro he didn’t know father-in-law Fima Shusterman’s name.
Shusterman gave at least $20 million worth of loans from 2017 to 2018 to Yasya Shtayner, a woman whose family runs Chicago Medallion Management Corp., the Chicago Sun-Times reported last year. The business operates 368 cabs, according to the report, including 22 owned by Cohen.
In 1993, just before Shusterman’s daughter married Cohen, Shusterman pleaded guilty to failing to abide by federal reporting rules for major cash transactions, according to The New York Times. He was sentenced to probation.
Cohen has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to tax fraud, making false statements to a bank, a campaign finance violation and lying to Congress about negotiations for a Trump Tower project in Moscow. He has said in court that Trump directed him to make hush money payments to two women who alleged affairs with Trump.
Despite Trump’s personal remarks on Cohen’s family, Davis said Cohen is determined to testify before the House oversight committee, chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).
“Mr. Cohen has spoken the truth to date, and on Feb. 7 in front of Mr. Cummings, he will continue to speak the truth,” Davis said.