Lanny Davis, the New Rudy Giuliani

Lanny Davis, the New Rudy Giuliani August 28, 2018

Aaron Blake goes hard after Lanny Davis, the longtime ally of the Clintons now representing former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, calling him Cohen’s version of Rudy Giuliani, a fountain of misinformation who has done enormous damage to the investigation into Trump. Or at least the public perception of it. I think he’s right.

In a new interview with The Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger and Rosalind S. Helderman, Davis is backing off two massive claims he made in recent weeks, including that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen has told people he witnessed President Trump being informed of Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer before it happened.

“I should have been more clear — including with you — that I could not independently confirm what happened,” Davis said, adding: “I regret my error.”

Davis also backed off his claim that Cohen has information suggesting that Trump knew in advance about Russian hacking of Democrats’ emails in 2016.

“I am not sure,” Davis said. “There’s a possibility that is the case. But I am not sure.”

How very Rudy-esque, just throw it out there and then later admit you don’t know if it’s true or not. That’s exactly what we don’t need. His job is to zealously represent his client, but that does not include making things up. Perhaps Davis, like Giuliani, thinks that the facts aren’t the facts and that anything he says becomes true by virtue of having said it. Or maybe he’s desperate to get Cohen a deal from federal prosecutors. But that is not the way to go about it. If he goes to Mueller or the Southern District of New York prosecutors and says he’ll give them evidence of X but can’t produce it, that will make things worse for him, not better.

Or maybe Davis is just so blinded by his hatred of Trump that he doesn’t care. But that would make him a propagandist, not an attorney. He needs to stop doing this immediately, regardless of why he’s been doing it. If you’re going to make a claim in public, you damn well better be able to back it up. Otherwise it’s like a fake allegation of racial hatred, you’re just giving the other side ammunition to dismiss all claims of racial hatred. And no one wins when that happens.

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