Lanny Davis

July 27, 2018 – Lanny Davis, a Lie and the Mainstream Media – A mini-timeline on a busted fake news story

Michael Cohen leaves Federal court, Aug. 21, 2018, in New York. (Credit: ABC News)

The Fact

September 19, 2017 and October 25, 2017: In closed-door meetings with the House and Senate intelligence committees, Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testifies that he had no foreknowledge of the Trump Tower meeting and didn’t know if Trump did either. (Axios, 8/23/2018) (Michael Cohen opening statement)

The Plot Begins

July 5, 2018: Maggie Haberman reports Michael Cohen hires ex-Clinton lawyer, Lanny Davis – Mr. Cohen has made moves to separate himself from Mr. Trump  (The New York Times, 7/05/2018)

The Media – hot off the press!

  • July 6, 2018: Another warning shot? Trump’s ex-lawyer hires Clinton ally (Chicago Sun Times, 7/6/2018)
  • July 6, 2018: “Tell Early, Tell It All, Tell It Yourself”: Can the Clinton Defense Save Michael Cohen? Cohen’s new attorney, Lanny Davis, thinks the truth will set his clients free—which could be bad news for Donald Trump. (Vanity Fair, 7/06/2018)
  • July 17, 2018: All eyes on Lanny Davis as Trump’s performance smells of treason (Baltimore Post Examiner, 7/17/2018)
  • July 25, 2018 – Michael Cohen is no longer a ‘punching bag’ for Donald Trump’s defense strategy, Lanny Davis says – He also said Cohen “has more truth to tell.(CNBC, July 25, 2018)

Two days later, more of Cohen’s “truths” are told to CNN and the Washington Post, anonymously, of course. Gee, who could this source be?

It was the natural progression of the plan for this fake news story in order to continue the Russiagate narrative and their efforts to impeach Trump.

The Lie

July 27, 2018: CNN and the Washington Post report that Cohen was willing to testify to special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump knew of the Trump Tower meeting in advance. (CNN, 7/27/2018) When The New York Post called Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, at the time to confirm the report, Davis spoke as an anonymous source and said it was accurate. (The New York Post, 8/23/2018)

July 27, 2018: The Washington Post – using an “anonymous source” they now admit was Davis, peddled the same story that “Cohen had told associates that he witnessed an exchange in which Trump Jr. told his father about an upcoming gathering in which he expected to get information about Clinton,” however the Post didn’t say Trump Jr. told Sr. it was the Russians.

WaPo has since updated the original article. (Washington Post, 7/27/2018)

The Bust

August 21, 2018 –  The Senate Intelligence committee finally responds to the CNN report because it conflicts with Cohen’s previous testimony. We’re curious as to why it took them nearly a month to respond.

“…What we can say is that we recently re-engaged with Mr. Cohen and his team following press reports that suggested he had advance knowledge of the June 2016 meeting between campaign officials and Russian lawyers at Trump Tower. Mr. Cohen had testified before the Committee that he was not aware of the meeting prior to its disclosure in the press last summer. As such, the Committee inquired of Mr. Cohen’s legal team as to whether Mr. Cohen stood by his testimony. They responded that he did stand by his testimony. 

We hope that today’s developments and Mr. Cohen’s plea agreement will not preclude his appearance before our Committee as needed for our ongoing investigation.” (Senate Intelligence Committee, 8/21/2018)

The next day, Davis taunts Trump, obviously unaware of the Intel committee’s press release.

  • August 22, 2018: Cohen’s lawyer claims the flip happened because of the Trump-Putin meeting (Vox, 8/22/2018)
  • August 22, 2018: Lanny Davis: Michael Cohen Has Information About Trump That Would Be “Of Interest” To Special Counsel Mueller (Real Clear Politics, 8/22/2018)
  • August 22, 2018: Michael Cohen Lawyer Lanny Davis Begs for GoFundMe Donations to ‘Truth Fund’ (Newsweek, 8/22/2018)
  • August 22, 2018: “I believe that Mr. Cohen has direct knowledge that would be of interest to Mr. Mueller that suggests — I’m not sure it proves — that Mr. Trump was aware of Russian government agents hacking illegally, committing computer crimes, to the detriment of the candidate who he was running against, Hillary Clinton,” Davis said in a Wednesday interview with PBS NewsHour.

Davis finally catches up and realizes the lie has placed his client in the precarious position of having to reappear before the Senate Intelligence committee and explain his now questionable testimony. Only then does Davis backpedal from his “confident assertions” that Cohen would share information with Mueller’s investigators.

(Credit: CNN)

August 23, 2018:  Davis, speaking on the record, apologized for confirming something he did not know to be true. “I regret that I wasn’t clear enough to The Post. I should have been more clear. I could not independently confirm the information in the CNN story,” he said. “I’m sorry that I left that impression. I wasn’t at the meeting. The only person who could confirm that information is my client.” (The New York Post, 8/23/2018)

August 25, 2018: President Trump tweeted about Davis’s stunning 180 on the Cohen claims, writing: “Michaels Cohen’s attorney clarified the record, saying his client does not know if President Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting (out of which came nothing!). The answer is that I did NOT know about the meeting. Just another phony story by the Fake News Media!” — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2018

August 26, 2018, The Washington Post reported on Sunday that Davis said in an interview that he is “no longer certain about claims he made to reporters on background and on the record in recent weeks about what Cohen knows about Trump’s awareness of the Russian efforts.

Davis told the Washington Post that he cannot confirm media reports that Cohen is prepared to tell special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that Trump had advance knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting –(Washington Post, 8/26/18)

August 27, 2018:- Lanny Davis Says He Was A Source For CNN’s Trump Tower Story  (Buzzfeed, 8/27/2018)

August 27, 2018CNN Is Standing By Its Trump Tower Story Despite Contradictions (The Daily Caller, 8/27/2018)

Lanny Davis talks to members of the media during a news conference on Jan. 10, 2015, in Philadelphia. (Credit: Joseph Kaczmarek/The Associated Press)

“Davis also walked back an idea he widely circulated after Cohen’s guilty plea that Trump knew about Russian hacking of Democratic emails in advance – which he has mentioned numerous times in recent interviews, “repeatedly touting his client’s potential value to Mueller.”

Four days later and Davis takes it all back.

Asked Saturday how confident he was that Trump knew about the hacking before it became public, Davis said: “I am not sure. There’s a possibility that is the case. But I am not sure.”

Davis said that in discussing the hacking allegations last week, he should have emphasized his lack of certainty. He said he raised the idea that Cohen might have information about Trump’s knowledge because he had a strong feeling that might be the case. –WaPo

“I was giving an instinct that he might have something to say of interest to the special counsel” about hacking, Davis said. In retrospect, he said, “I am just not sure.”

In response to the Washington Post’s original July 27th article:

“I should have been more clear — including with you — that I could not independently confirm what happened,” Davis said, adding perhaps the most difficult four words for an attorney to utter: “I regret my error.”

In the past week, when asked directly by CNN’s Anderson Cooper whether there was information that Trump knew about his son’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya beforehand, Davis said, “No, there’s not.”

In a statement Saturday, a CNN spokeswoman said, “We stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.” –WaPo

We wonder how many people donated to Cohen’s “GoFundMe” campaign assuming he had the goods?

We wonder if Podesta ever let Davis crisis manage Hillary Clinton’s email scandal?” (Zero Hedge, 8/28/2018)

“On my honor I give you my word I will not mention to anyone my involvement. ” — Michael Cohen lawyer Lanny J Davis to Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta https://t.co/8pydGMaYer pic.twitter.com/i7pfYdJbxL

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 24, 2018

A Good Explanation

(Timeline editor’s note: I decided to create a mini-timeline for this story because it is the most egregious example to date of how a fake story is born. I was reminded of the dozens of so-called journalists listed in the original email timeline, who were so ready and willing to tee-up stories in Clinton’s favor. Also, who can forget the MSM’s willingness to tout Donald Trump during the primary, at the Clinton campaign’s request?)

February 18, 2017 – Opinion: No one mentions that the Russian trail leads to Democratic lobbyists

(…) “The media’s focus on Trump’s Russian connections ignores the much more extensive and lucrative business relationships of top Democrats with Kremlin-associated oligarchs and companies. Thanks to the Panama Papers, we know that the Podesta Group (founded by John Podesta’s brother, Tony) lobbied for Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank. “Sberbank is the Kremlin, they don’t do anything major without Putin’s go-ahead, and they don’t tell him ‘no’ either,” explained a retired senior U.S. intelligence official. According to a Reuters report, Tony Podesta was “among the high-profile lobbyists registered to represent organizations backing Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich.” Among these was the European Center, which paid Podesta $900,000 for his lobbying.

That’s not all: The busy Podesta Group also represented Uranium One, a uranium company acquired by the Russian government which received approval from Hillary Clinton’s State Department to mine for uranium in the U.S. and gave Russia twenty percent control of US uranium. The New York Times reported Uranium One’s chairman, Frank Guistra, made significant donations to the Clinton Foundation, and Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for one speech from a Russian investment bank that has “links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.” Notably, Frank Giustra, the Clinton Foundation’s largest and most controversial donor, does not appear anywhere in Clinton’s “non-private” emails. It is possible that the emails of such key donors were automatically scrubbed to protect the Clinton Foundation.

Let’s not leave out fugitive Ukrainian oligarch, Dymtro Firtash. He is represented by Democratic heavyweight lawyer, Lanny Davis, who accused Trump of “inviting Putin to commit espionage” (Trump’s quip: If Putin has Hillary’s emails, release them) but denies all wrongdoing by Hillary.

(…) Lobbying for Russia is a bi-partisan activity. Gazprombank GPB, a subsidiary of Russia’s third largest bank, Gazprombank, is represented by former Sen. John Breaux, (D., La.), and former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R., Miss.), as main lobbyists on “banking laws and regulations, including applicable sanctions.” The Breaux-Lott client is currently in the Treasury Department list of Russian firms prohibited from debt financing with U.S. banks.” (Read more: Forbes, 2/18/2017)

A Clinton surrogate suggests a neutral party could review Clinton’s private server; this secretly upsets Clinton’s campaign manager.

Lanny Davis (Credit: Leigh Vogel / The Associated Press)

Lanny Davis (Credit: Leigh Vogel / The Associated Press)

Lanny Davis was a special counsel to President Bill Clinton, and is a longtime media surrogate for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Speaking to journalist Chris Wallace on Fox News, he says regarding Clinton’s emails on her private server, “There can be a neutral party to review all these records. Nothing unlawful-”

Wallace asks, “You’d like to have a neutral party? … [D]o you think that’s a reasonable idea?”

Davis replies, “I think it is a reasonable idea if anybody has any doubts that there’s a delete on a hard drive-”

Wallace interrupts, “To have an independent party go inspect her private email?”

Davis responds, “I think there is a reasonable idea. If the State Department asks, she will say yes.” (Fox News, 3/8/2015)

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook writes in an email to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, “We gotta zap Lanny out of our universe.  Can’t believe he committed her to a private review of her hard drive on TV.” (WikiLeaks, 11/1/2016)

Podesta’s reply, if any, is unknown. The Mook email will be released by WikiLeaks in November 2016.

Clinton will never agree to a neutral review of her server. Later in the month, an employee of the company managing her server will delete and wipe all the emails from her server.

Clinton’s campaign chair privately says “we are going to have to dump all” of Clinton’s emails.

Lanny Davis and Hillary Clinton (Credit: public domain)

Lanny Davis and Hillary Clinton (Credit: public domain)

Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta emails Cheryl Mills, who is one of Clinton’s lawyers at the time, as well as being her former chief of staff. He writes, “On another matter….and not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails so better to do so sooner than later.”

Mills replies with a joke, “Think you just got your new nick name :).” (WikiLeaks, 11/1/2016)

This is in reference to the New York Times front-page story from earlier in the day, publicly revealing that Clinton exclusively used a private email account while secretary of state.

“Lanny” is a likely reference to Lanny Davis, who was a special counsel to President Bill Clinton, and is a longtime media surrogate for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Less than a week later, Davis will publicly advocate that Clinton should be transparent with her emails.

By saying “dump,” Podesta could mean dump them to the public, or he could mean get rid of them. Unfortunately, there are no more comments from him or Mills to help clarify his meaning.

These emails will be released by WikiLeaks in November 2016.