Republicans say Lanny Davis 'pushed' Michael Cohen to testify before Congress

Republicans say Lanny Davis 'pushed' Michael Cohen to testify before Congress

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 21: Michael Cohen, former lawyer to U.S. President Donald Trump, exits the Federal Courthouse on August 21, 2018 in New York City. Cohen reached an agreement with prosecutors, pleading guilty to charges involving bank fraud, tax fraud and campaign finance violations.(Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)

Yana Paskova/Getty Images

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney to President Donald Trump

  • Republicans sent a letter to Michael Cohen's defense attorney alleging that Cohen's other lawyer, Lanny Davis, pushed him to testify before the House Oversight Committee.
  • Davis, a former Clinton lawyer, "forewarned the hearing will likely be 'unsatisfying' and 'frustrating' for Members of the Committee," according to Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan.
  • Cohen is scheduled to testify on February 7.

WASHINGTON - Republicans on the House Oversight Committee sent a letter to Guy Petrillo, the defense attorney for Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, raising issue with the role of former Clinton lawyer Lanny Davis.

In a letter released Tuesday, Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows wrote that Davis said he "pushed" Cohen to agree to testify, taking credit for the idea, noting that Cohen had initially not wanted to talk to the committee in a public setting.

Read more: Michael Cohen says he felt it was his 'duty' to 'cover up' Trump's 'dirty deeds,' is sentenced to 3 years in prison

The letter states that Davis had worked with Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings to convince him to hold a hearing.


Meadows and Jordan - who is now the ranking Republican on the Committee - also wrote to question the scope of what the hearing will entail, noting that Davis has said Cohen's testimony "will exclude any matter 'under investigation.'"

"The non-exhaustive list of issues that Cohen will refuse to address include matters involving the Attorney General for the State of New York, the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, and the office of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III," the two Republicans wrote. "Of course, this is not an easy list of topics to sidestep at a Congressional hearing with such intense public interest."

Meadows and Jordan also wrote that "the sole purpose of Cohen's appearance before the Committee is to allow Cohen to share his personal anecdotes about his time working for the then-private citizen Donald J. Trump, and his experiences after Mr. Trump became President."

In addition, Davis "forewarned the hearing will likely be 'unsatisfying' and 'frustrating' for Members of the Committee."

The letter also raises speculation of political bias due to Davis' history with former President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.


"Davis's role as consigliere for the Clintons and those close to them raises the specter his client loyalties may be divided," they wrote.

"In summary, Davis made clear that Cohen's upcoming appearance before the Committee is entirely the result of Davis's orchestration," the letter concludes. "Davis picked our Committee as the exclusive venue for Cohen's appearance base on his long standing personal friendship with Chairman Cummings."