Michael Cohen just hired one of Bill Clinton's most notable lawyers to represent him

  • President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen just hired Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton.
  • The hire was first reported by The New York Times.
  • "Michael Cohen deserves to tell his side of the story — subject, of course, to the advice of counsel," Davis said in a statement to The Times.
  • Rudy Giuliani, Trump's outside counsel, told Business Insider that Cohen "should have the attorneys who he has the most confidence in."

President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen just hired Lanny Davis, who served as former President Bill Clinton's special counsel as he was under investigation, as the latest addition to his revamped legal team.

Davis' hire was reported by The New York Times on Thursday. Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted that Davis told her he was retained by Cohen as he prepares for a legal and public relations "onslaught."

"Like most of America, I have been following the matter regarding Michael Cohen with great interest," Davis said in a statement to Haberman. "As an attorney, I have talked to Michael many times in the last two weeks. Then I read his words published on July 2, and I recognized his sincerity. Michael Cohen deserves to tell his side of the story — subject, of course, to the advice of counsel."

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Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton
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Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 22: Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, pauses for a quick portrait as he arrives for a debate with Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. The debate, moderated by former Czech ambassador to the U.S. Alexandr Vondra, was over the current course of America and was sponsored by Czechoslovak Group, a holding company of Czech and Slovak defense industry companies. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 22: Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton, arrives for a debate with Steve Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist to U.S. President Donald Trump, at Zofin Palace on May 22, 2018 in Prague, Czech Republic. The debate, moderated by former Czech ambassador to the U.S. Alexandr Vondra, was over the current course of America and was sponsored by Czechoslovak Group, a holding company of Czech and Slovak defense industry companies. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Slug: ME/CHAPMAN Date: 7/3/2003 Photographer: Marvin Joseph/TWP Neg# 144271 Baltimore, MD, Federal Courthouse, 101 W. Lombard St. Investment manager Nathan Chapman and his attorney Lanny J. Davis outside Federal Court in Baltimore, Maryland, following an initial court appearance/arraignment of Chapman. Nathan Chapman, a former University of Maryland regents chairman was indicted last week on 39 counts of fraud. He and his attorney speak to the press outside Courthouse. (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Lanny Davis, U.S. attorney and former Clinton political strategist, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Prague, Czech Republic, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Steve Bannon, former Trump political strategist, condemned a weekend truce in the U.S. trade dispute with China as a capitulation, signaling dissatisfaction among the president's allies in an interview given on May 21. Photographer: Martin Divisek/Bloomberg
Lanny Davis, U.S. attorney and former Clinton political strategist, left, pauses as Steve Bannon, former chairman of Breitbart News Network LLC and former Trump political strategist, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Prague, Czech Republic, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Bannon condemned a weekend truce in the U.S. trade dispute with China as a capitulation, signaling dissatisfaction among the president's allies in an interview given on May 21. Photographer: Martin Divisek/Bloomberg
Lanny Davis, U.S. attorney and former Clinton political strategist, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview in Prague, Czech Republic, on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Steve Bannon, former Trump political strategist, condemned a weekend truce in the U.S. trade dispute with China as a capitulation, signaling dissatisfaction among the president's allies in an interview given on May 21. Photographer: Martin Divisek/Bloomberg
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Lanny Davis attends the Newsweek & The Daily Beast 2012 Hero Summit at the United States Institute of Peace on November 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 14: Lanny Davis attends the Newsweek & The Daily Beast 2012 Hero Summit at the United States Institute of Peace on November 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)
New York, UNITED STATES: Jean-Bernard Levy, chairman and CEO of Vivendi (L) and his lawyer Lanny Davis from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe speak before a news conference 24 October 2006 in New York. Polish holding company Elektrim insisted Tuesday it had acted entirely within the law over the long-running battle with France's Vivendi over who owns Polish mobile telephone operator, Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PTC). French entertainment and telecommunications giant Vivendi filed suit in the United States Monday against Elektrim's main shareholder, Zygmunt Solorz-Zak, Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile under the US Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, alleging that the Polish and German companies had colluded to close out Vivendi from PTC. 'Vivendi considers that T-Mobile and Mr Solorz's Elektrim illegally appropriated its 2.5 billion dollar (2.0-billion-euro) investment in PTC and, at every turn, have defied court orders,' Vivendi said in a statement issued Tuesday, after bringing its RICO suit in Seattle. AFP PHOTO/Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Lanny Davis, former White House counsel, discusses President Clinton's grand jury testimony on Meet the Press, August 16th, 1998. (photo by Michael Smith)
WASHINGTON - AUGUST 06: Lanny Davis (C), a supporter of U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT), and Jim Dean (L), a supporter of Lieberman's opponent for the Connecticut Democratic Senate primary Ned Lamont, are interviewed by moderator Tim Russert (R) during a taping of 'Meet the Press' at the NBC studios August 6, 2006 in Washington, DC. Davis and Dean discussed the upcoming Connecticut Democratic Senate primary and the future of the Democratic Party. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images for Meet the Press)
Former special adviser in the White House and supporter of Hillary Clinton Lanny Davis attends a discussion meeting focussing on U.S. developments on May 22, 2018, in Prague. - Bannon and Davis visit Prague on invitation of Czechoslovak Group industrial holding and CEVRO college. (Photo by Michal Cizek / AFP) (Photo credit should read MICHAL CIZEK/AFP/Getty Images)
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Davis's noting of July 2 is a reference to Cohen's ABC News interview. In that conversation with ABC's George Stephanopoulos, Cohen split with his old boss and fueled speculation that he could soon "flip" and cooperate with the government regarding the criminal investigation he's at the center of in the Southern District of New York.

Cohen said he would "put family and country first" when considering what he should do regarding that criminal investigation. When Stephanopoulos pressed Cohen about his past vow to "take a bullet" for Trump, Cohen doubled down, saying: "To be crystal clear, my wife, my daughter, and my son and this country have my first loyalty."

Cohen, who worked for Trump over the past decade, is the focus of an investigation into whether he violated campaign-finance laws or committed bank fraud, wire fraud, illegal lobbying, or other crimes. The FBI raided his home, his office, and his hotel room in April, seizing roughly 4 million documents from the lawyer.

'He should have the attorneys who he has the most confidence in'

In June, Cohen hired Guy Petrillo as the latest lawyer representing him in the case after it was reported that Cohen was breaking up with existing his legal team. Petrillo, a partner at Petrillo Klein & Boxer, has extensive experience in the Southern District of New York, which is something Cohen reportedly sought. Experts told Business Insider Petrillo was the kind of lawyer a person would choose if he or she were seeking to cut a deal with prosecutors.

"Once I understand what charges might be filed against me, if any at all, I will defer to my new counsel, Guy Petrillo, for guidance," Cohen told ABC News.

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Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen
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Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives to appear before Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen drives after leaving his hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives at Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, talks to reporters as he departs after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President-elect Donald Trump's choice for National Security Advisor, Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry talk with each other in the lobby at Trump Tower, December 12, 2016 in New York City. President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration.

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Cohen, center, a personal attorney for President Trump, leaves Hart Building after his meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election was postponed on September 19, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives to Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney arrives with his attorney, Stephen M. Ryan to speak with reporters after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, White House national security adviser-designate, from left, Michael Cohen, executive vice president of the Trump Organization and special counsel to Donald Trump, and Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, speak in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he had the 'highest confidence' in the intelligence community, in sharp contrast to President-elect Donald Trump's attack on the CIA after reports it found that the Russian government tried to help him win the presidency.

(Albin Lohr-Jones/Pool via Bloomberg)

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, looks on as his attorney (not pictured) delivers a statement to reporters after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

Attorney Michael Cohen arrives to Trump Tower for meetings with President-elect Donald Trump on December 16, 2016 in New York.

(BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP/Getty Images)

UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Cohen, center, a personal attorney for President Trump, leaves Hart Building after his meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss Russian interference in the 2016 election was postponed on September 19, 2017. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is pictured leaving a restaurant in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy
Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, arrives with his attorney, Stephen M. Ryan, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 25, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is pictured arriving at his hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Levy
Michael Cohen, personal attorney for U.S. President Donald Trump, departs after meeting with Senate Intelligence Committee staff as the panel investigates alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
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Rudy Giuliani, Trump's outside counsel, told Business Insider that he made "nothing" of Cohen's latest move to hire Davis, as well as his past couple weeks of maneuvering.

"He should have the attorneys who he has the most confidence in," Giuliani said.

In the past few weeks, Cohen seemed to be sending Trump signals regarding whether he planned to cooperate with authorities.

In a resignation letter to the Republican National Committee, he publicly criticized Trump's family separations at the US-Mexico border, and people close to him told The Wall Street Journal and CNN he was frustrated Trump wasn't paying his legal bills — even suggesting Cohen was open to cooperating with the government and providing information on Trump.

Trump has distanced himself from Cohen, suggesting that the investigation has far more to do with Cohen's business dealings than anything Cohen did for the president. Trump has also said he is not worried about Cohen giving the government anything damaging on him because he hasn't done anything wrong.

ABC News also reported that once Cohen's new legal team takes over the case, the joint defense agreement that allows lawyers of both parties to share information and documents will come to an end.

In late November, former national security adviser Michael Flynn notified Trump's legal team that he would end a similar agreement. Roughly a week later he pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to lying to the FBI and agreed to cooperate with the Russia inquiry.

Davis and Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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