David S. Cohen

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Person.png David S. Cohen   KeywikiRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(lawyer, spook)
DavidSCohen.png
Born1963
NationalityUS
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materCornell University, Yale Law School
ReligionJew
Member ofCouncil on Foreign Relations/Members
Confirmed as Deputy Director of the CIA in January 2015

Employment.png Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Wikipedia-icon.png

In office
February 9, 2015 - January 20, 2017
Preceded byAvril Haines

Not to be confused with David Cohen

David S. Cohen was Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2015-2017 and is presently partner with his former employer, the corporate law firm WilmerHale, an example of the revolving door between big corporations and the US government. Cohen is regarded as a chief architect of the crippling sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Iran, Russia, and North Korea — earning him the nickname the “sanctions guru.”[1]

Career

Cohen received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1989 and his undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 1985.

Cohen practiced law in Washington, D.C. for almost twenty years, before joining the US Treasury Department in 2009. Immediately prior to joining the Treasury, Cohen was a partner at the Wall Street WilmerHale, where his practice focused on civil and criminal litigation, the defense of regulatory investigations, and anti-money laundering and sanctions compliance advice. Earlier in his career, Cohen worked in the Treasury’s General Counsel’s office, was a partner at the law firm Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, a butique law firm specializing in white collar criminal defense[2], and clerked for a federal trial court judge.[3]

He was hired by the U.S. Treasury Department in 1999 as an aide to General Counsel Neal S. Wolin and then as Acting Deputy General Counsel.

In his two-year tenure at the Treasury Department, Cohen was also instrumental in drafting Title III of the Patriot Act, which restricted civil liberties and vastly increased the government’s surveillance powers in response to 9/11.

In 2001 he left the government and joined the Washington corporate law firm Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, now known as WilmerHale, a company that also Robert Mueller is partner in.[4]

In 2009,he became Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing in the Treasury Department, under President Barack Obama. Variously described by members of the Obama administration as a "financial Batman" and one of the president's "favorite combatant commanders".

Cohen became Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in 2011. He "presided over a 700-person, $200 million-a-year counterterrorism office within Treasury that was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks" and includes the Office of Foreign Assets Control, which implements U.S. economic sanctions.[5]

As Under Secretary, Cohen directed the Treasury Department’s policy, enforcement, regulatory, and intelligence functions aimed at identifying and disrupting financial support to nations, organizations and individuals posing a threat to US interests. He also led the Department’s efforts in money laundering and financial crime. From 2009 to 2011, Cohen was the Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing. As Assistant Secretary, Cohen oversaw the Treasury’s counterterrorist financing and anti-money laundering policy, with all the possibilities that entail.

Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

In the period 2015-2017, David S. Cohen worked as Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency . He is the first Jew to be appointed Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.[6] Cohen is regarded as a “chief architect” of the crippling sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Iran, Russia, and North Korea — earning him the nickname the “sanctions guru.” The impact of these sanctions has been equated to “collective punishment,” resulting in economic crises, food and medicine shortages, and tens of thousands of preventable deaths in countries designated enemies.

Cohen played a critical role in whipping up anti-Russian hysteria with unsubstantiated claims of the "Russiagate" interference in the 2016 election.

After the CIA

He is presently (2017-) partner with his former employer, the corporate law firm WilmerHale. Showing the close ties between corporations and the US government, the French/European aircraft manufacturer Airbus was forced to pay $4 billion in fines under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in January 2020. The US indictment, where WilmerHale played a significant role, focused on conduct occurring between 2011 and 2015 in third countries, such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Ghana.[7] This case to damage a competitor to US aircraft companies, could not have been created without help from US spy agencies and the US government.

He has made speeches at the Atlantic Council supporting ever harsher economic sanctions against Russia, North Korea and Venezuela.[8]

He is on the Board of Advisors at the Reiss Center at New York University, whic "embodies the convergence of the interests of finance capital, the Democratic Party and the military-intelligence apparatus."[9]

He is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the think-tank Center of a New American Security, focusing on intelligence, technology and national security, and economic statecraft.[10]

He is a supporter of the presidential campaign of fellow spook Peter Buttigieg.


 

Event Participated in

EventStartEndLocation(s)Description
Bilderberg/20171 June 20174 June 2017US
Virginia
Chantilly
The 65th Bilderberg Meeting


References