NY v. Trump: Witness says Cohen dreamed of White House job despite denying ambitions in House testimony


A witness in the NY v. Trump case in Manhattan testified that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen wanted a job in the 45th president’s administration, despite previously denying wanting a White House role during congressional testimony. 

Keith Davidson, an attorney who represented former pornographic actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, continued his testimony before the court Thursday, when he said that Cohen had been hopeful that he would land a position as White House chief of staff or attorney general in the lead-up to Trump’s inauguration. 

Davidson also recounted that Cohen had been upset he was “not going to Washington” following Trump’s win in 2016. 

“Can you f—ing believe I’m not going to Washington after everything I’ve done for that guy? I can’t believe I’m not going to Washington… I’ve saved his a–…,” Davidson recounted of a conversation he had had with a “despondent and saddened Michael Cohen” in December following the 2016 election

Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen, former personal lawyer to President Donald Trump, appears outside federal court in New York on Dec. 14, 2023. (Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Davidson testified that Cohen had called him while shopping in a California store memorably decorated with an “Alice in Wonderland”-type theme. 

The NY v. Trump case focuses on Cohen paying Daniels $130,000 to allegedly quiet her claims of an alleged extramarital affair she had with Trump in 2006. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels.

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Cohen lamented to Davidson in the December call that he had not yet been reimbursed for the sum he had paid Daniels, according to Davidson’s testimony. 

Donald Trump sits in the courtroom for the first day of opening arguments in his Manhattan criminal trial.

Former President Donald Trump awaits the start of proceedings at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on April 22. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, Pool)

Prosecutors allege that the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses. Prosecutors are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime, which is a felony, in violation of a New York law called “conspiracy to promote or prevent election.”

Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. 

Davidson’s testimony that Cohen sought a White House job stands in stark contrast to what the former Trump attorney told Congress back in 2019. 

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“Sir, I was extremely proud to be personal attorney to the President of the United States of America. I did not want to go to the White House. I was offered jobs,” Cohen told Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, in 2019 during a House Oversight Committee hearing. 

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump split image

Michael Cohen, who is supposed to be a star witness in NY v. Trump, might have “torpedoed” the case before taking the stand by ranting about it on TikTok, according to legal observers. (Getty Images)

“I can tell you a story of Mr. Trump reaming out Reince Priebus because I had not taken a job where Mr. Trump wanted me to, which is working with Don McGahn at the White House general counsel’s office,” he continued. “What I said at the time — and I brought a lawyer in who produced a memo as to why I should not go in, because there would be no attorney/client privilege. And in order to handle some of the matters that I talked about in my opening, that it would be best suited for me not to go in and that every president had a personal attorney.”

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“I did not want to go to the White House,” Cohen added later in his testimony to Congress. “I retained, I brought an attorney in, and I sat with Mr. Trump, with him for well over an hour, explaining the importance of having a personal attorney, that every president has had one in order to handle matters like the matters I was dealing with.”

Cohen’s comments came after he pleaded guilty to five counts of willful tax evasion, one count of making false statements to a bank, one count of causing an unlawful campaign contribution and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution in 2018. He again pleaded guilty in November of that same year to lying to Congress about testimony regarding the work he had done on a project to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. 

A court sketch depicts former President Donald Trump’s appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court

A court sketch depicts former President Donald Trump’s appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York on April 19. (Christine Cornell)

Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison and has since been released.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner, R-Ohio, and House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., are currently demanding the Justice Department investigate Cohen. They allege that he committed perjury and “knowingly” made false statements while testifying before Congress in 2019.

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Turner and Stefanik argue that Cohen is being used as the prosecution’s “star witness” in the NY v. Trump case, despite his previous conviction. 

Trump, meanwhile, has slammed the trial as a “scam” and “hoax” promoted by the Biden administration and led by a “conflicted judge.” 

Former US president and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower

Former President Donald Trump leaves Trump Tower to attend his trial for allegedly covering up hush money payments linked to extramarital affairs in New York on April 22. (Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)

“This is a hoax. This is a judge who is conflicted — badly, badly, badly conflicted. I’ve never seen a judge so conflicted and giving us virtually no rulings,” Trump said outside the courtroom on Tuesday morning. 

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“I’m going to sit in the freezing cold icebox for eight hours, nine hours or so. They took me off the campaign trail. But the good news is my poll numbers are the highest it’s ever been. So, at least we’re getting the word out. And everybody knows this trial is a scam. It’s a scam. The judge should be recused; that he should recuse himself today, he should recuse himself today. And maybe he will,” Trump said.

Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report. 



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