Just hours after President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen admitted to taking part in a criminal conspiracy and pleaded guilty to eight felony charges, Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis shamelessly fished for the sympathy and cash of the American public by setting up and promoting a GoFundMe page called the "Michael Cohen Truth Fund" with the highly questionable goal of covering the potentially prison-bound fixer's legal fees.
Writer David Klion and many others immediately denounced the "Truth Fund"—which was first posted online late Tuesday—as an obvious effort by Davis to "con the libs into giving him money for no particular reason."
"Lanny Davis is my go-to example of why we needed to crack down on the kind of stuff [Trump's former campaign manager Paul] Manafort was doing several administrations ago," Klion wrote, referring to Davis' long history of lobbying on behalf of dictatorial regimes. "Michael Cohen doesn't need half a million dollars to help him 'tell the truth,' and he's not a #Resistance hero. He's an absolute scumbag who is telling the truth because otherwise he'll spend the rest of his life in jail."
But also, the brazenness of this con... Michael Cohen doesn't need half a million dollars to help him "tell the truth," and he's not a #Resistance hero. He's an absolute scumbag who is telling the truth because otherwise he'll spend the rest of his life in jail.
— David Klion (@DavidKlion) August 22, 2018
With a goal sum of $500,000, the widely derided GoFundMe effort raised zero money in the first seven hours of its existence, but the cash finally began to roll in and the campaign reached "trending" status after Davis begged for donations on the corporate media circuit Wednesday morning. As of this writing, the so-called "transparent trust account" has raised over $45,000.
"I don't think it's a mystery who is donating. U.S. politics are a complete, enduring mess."
—Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
While the GoFundMe page was initially open to public comments, Davis—who previously served as a special counsel to President Bill Clinton—apparently disabled the comment function after the page was inundated with comments ripping Cohen, Davis, and the entire crowd-funding campaign.
Unable to ridicule Davis and Cohen directly on the GoFundMe page, commentators took to Twitter instead to denounce the campaign as "genuinely absurd."
STOP CONTRIBUTING TO MICHAEL COHEN’S GOFUNDME PEOPLE WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU
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— Robert Swartwood (@RobertSwartwood) August 22, 2018
During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday morning, Davis insisted that Cohen's family is "suffering" and implored "everybody who is interested in Michael being able to tell the truth to help him out."
Quipping that Cohen definitely doesn't need $500,000 because "prison is rent-free," Daily Beast reporter Olivia Messer pointed out that Cohen "bought a Manhattan apartment last month for $6.7 million"—an indication that he is not exactly in dire financial straits, as Davis would like the American public to think.
The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald also highlighted Cohen's luxury apartment purchase and argued that Davis' GoFundMe campaign is even further evidence that "U.S. politics are a complete, enduring mess."
"I don't think it's a mystery who is donating," Greenwald wrote, implying that the money of self-styled Resistance Democrats is filling the coffers of the "Michael Cohen Truth Fund."