One of the worst things about the neverending news cycle that is the Trump presidency is the rotating cast of dipshit lawyers from the ‘90s and early aughts who keep popping back into our lives and on our television screens for one reason or another. The latest addition is former Clinton White House counsel Lanny Davis, who has taken up the defense of Donald Trump’s former lawyer and sycophant Michael Cohen.
In the last 24 hours, Davis has rocketed back into the headlines following his client’s guilty plea, after which he told the Washington Post that Cohen has information to share with Robert Mueller about Trump’s knowledge of a collusion conspiracy. Davis also portrayed his client—a man who once defended Donald Trump by wrongly stating that spousal rape is legal—as a man of conscience who “considers a pardon from somebody who has acted so corruptly as president to be something he would never expect.” On top of that, he started a “Michael Cohen Truth Fund” on GoFundMe—apparently the chosen crowdfunding platform of fired FBI guys and convicted lawyers for the president alike. At this point, the page has already raised over $53,000 out of its $500,000 goal.
With all of this in mind, we should take a second to reflect on the fact that Lanny Davis sucks ass.
To start, any mention of Davis should immediately come with a reminder of his role in legitimizing the Honduran coup of 2009 that toppled leftist president Manuel Zelaya. (The U.S. government helped to validate the coup via then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s push for new elections.)
Davis lobbied on behalf of the Honduran chapter of CEAL, the Business Council of Latin America, which backed the coup. CEAL’s vice president said in 2009 that Davis was “trying, with his contacts in Washington, to help a peaceful resolution...Lanny Davis’s group is working toward assisting with their knowledge of Washington.” Emails released in 2015 showed that Hillary Clinton suggested the idea of using Davis as a middleman between her and Roberto Micheletti, who assumed the presidency following the coup.
And that’s just the start. In his lobbying career, Davis has represented for-profit colleges, dictators, union-busters, a company that insisted on putting additives in formula for infants, and—perhaps worst of all—Dan Fucking Snyder. As one lobbyist on the other side of the baby formula fight once said of Davis’ client list: “It is an illustration of what most of the American people think of as wrong with Washington.”
“My credibility is the only thing I have,” Davis whined to the New York Times in 2010 when he came under fire for his representation of unsavory companies and people. “If I defend people in indefensible, corrupt acts, then I lose everything I have, and I’m just another gun for hire. But when I see that I can help get out the facts, and improve people’s lives, and peacefully resolve conflicts, then I feel an obligation to do so.”
It’s very obvious how Davis wants this latest venture to play out—with both he and Cohen finding redemption through taking down our scumbag president—but it’s already backfiring. Republicans are jumping on Davis’ connections to the Clintons as proof that Trump is being set up. And you know Cohen found himself a good lawyer when there’s an entire section on Davis’ website called “Correcting the Record,” (where have we heard that before??) in which he attempts to combat his reputation for being a mercenary lawyer for authoritarians and the worst excesses of capitalism, and which features this quote by one Lanny J. Davis.
“What I do for a living is crisis management, So people ask me, am I sorry that I defend people that are in trouble having a hard time getting the facts out? No. Is that a controversial line of work? Yes. But I think I have the ability to get facts out and do it successfully. It means sometimes I’m part of the controversy because I’m trying to help.” — Lanny J Davis
Lanny: please, please, please stop trying to help.