Lanny Jesse Davis born December 12, 1945 is an American lawyer, consultant, lobbyist, author, and television commentator. He is the co-founder and partner of the law firm of Davis Goldberg & Galper PLLC, and co-founder and partner of the public relations firm Trident DMG. From 1996 to 1998, he served as a special counsel to President Bill Clinton, and was a spokesperson for the President and the White House on matters concerning campaign-finance investigations and other legal issues.
In July 2018, Davis was hired by Michael Cohen, a former personal attorney to Donald Trump, to represent him as co-counsel in the Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal. Davis later represented Cohen when he pleaded guilty to tax fraud, bank fraud, and violation of campaign finance laws on August 21, 2018.
Davis’s clients have included Porton Group, National Women’s History Museum, National Black Chamber of Commerce, eHealth, Sofitel Hotels, Trent Lott, Gene Upshaw, Dan Snyder, Martha Stewart and the Office of the President at Penn State University. Davis has been a regular television commentator and political and legal analyst for MSNBC, CNN, CNBC and network television news programs. He currently has a column called “Purple Nation” that appears regularly in a variety of publications spanning the political spectrum, including The Hill, The Huffington Post, FoxNews.com and The Daily Caller. A Yale Law School graduate, he won the Thurman Arnold Moot Court prize and served on the Yale Law Journal.
In 2005, President George W. Bush appointed Davis to serve as the only Democratic member of the five-member Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, created by the U.S. Congress as part of the 2005 Intelligence Reform Act.
In July 2018, Davis was hired by Michael Cohen, a former personal attorney to Donald Trump, to represent him as co-counsel in the Stormy Daniels–Donald Trump scandal.Davis encouraged Cohen to reveal that he and Trump had discussed a payment surrounding a different affair with model Karen McDougal. Davis later revealed that Cohen had secretly recorded the conversation with Trump, and he released a tape of the conversation to CNN, which played it on the air. On it, Trump and Cohen can be heard discussing how to make a payment for “all of that info regarding our friend David,” interpreted as meaning David Pecker, the head of American Media which publishes the National Enquirer.
Davis continued to serve as Cohen’s attorney when Cohen came under federal criminal investigation by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and papers and other materials were seized from Cohen in April 2018 under a subpoena. Davis helped Cohen to negotiate a plea bargain under which he agreed to plead guilty to several charges in return for leniency in sentencing. On August 21, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight charges: five counts of tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a financial institution, one count of willfully causing an unlawful corporate contribution, and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution at the request of a candidate or campaign.
After Cohen’s guilty plea and conviction, Davis made several public comments, indicating that Cohen is ready to “tell everything about Donald Trump that he knows”, and alluding to Cohen’s knowledge which could be used against Trump. He later added that he believed Cohen would agree to testify before Congress, even without immunity. He also rejected the possibility of a presidential pardon from Trump, saying that Cohen would “never accept a pardon from a man that he considers to be both corrupt and a dangerous person in the oval office.”[