U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday praised his former campaign chairman who was just convicted of defrauding the federal government and accused his longtime personal attorney of breaking under legal pressure.
Then Cohen hung Trump out to dry, sensationally testifying under oath in a federal court that the president directed him to break campaign finance law, while pleading guilty to bank and tax fraud. The women were not identified by name, but the facts laid out in court papers make clear they are former Playboy model Karen McDougal and adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, aka Stormy Daniels.
The back-to-back blows resulted from the work of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia's attempts to sway voters in the 2016 election, including hacking Democrats' emails, whether the Trump campaign may have cooperated, and if the president himself obstructed justice in investigating both.
Davis said Cohen would not accept a pardon from a president he regards as corrupt.
His plea came as former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight charges in his financial fraud trial stemming from the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
"Mr. Cohen is not interested in being dirtied by a pardon from such a man", Davis said.
The President has insisted he paid Cohen out of personal funds and that the payments were not meant to benefit his campaign but to resolve a personal matter. Davis said he isn't sure why.
Since he came into power, Mr Trump's national security adviser, personal lawyer, campaign chairman, deputy campaign manager and a foreign policy aide have all admitted or been convicted of crimes, bringing his judgement into question. To Cohen, Helsinki was a breaking point, Davis said.
"Doesn't involve me", Trump told reporters.
The first case is potentially more serious for the president. Now Daniels' attorney Michael Avenatti says he'll renew efforts to get Trump to submit to a deposition in a lawsuit Daniels filed to invalidate a nondisclosure agreement she signed ahead of the 2016 election.
Trump stewed for weeks over the media coverage of the Manafort trial.
For many around Trump, Cohen has represented a greater threat than even the Russian Federation investigation, drawing from his decade of working as the then-celebrity real estate developer's fixer.
He says wrongly that if the money had come from the campaign, "that could be a little dicey, " but since it "came from me" it's "not even a campaign violation". Cohen said in a NY court that he made one payment "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" and the other "under direction of the same candidate".
She also told NBC News in a statement: "Michael [Avenatti] and I are vindicated and we look forward to the apologies from the people who claimed we were wrong".
On Wednesday, the White House said Mr Trump was "not concerned at all" by Cohen co-operating with FBI investigators.