Trump raises questions over seized Cohen recording

21 July, 2018, 21:23 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Trump raises questions over seized Cohen recording

Lawyer Rudy Giuliani said no campaign funding was involved in the discussion between Trump and Cohen, who has distanced himself from Trump in recent months as the FBI investigates Cohen's business dealings.

President Donald Trump reacted on Saturday to news that Michael Cohen, his former longtime lawyer, secretly recorded a conversation with Trump in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Trump.

Giuliani said the discussion of payment did not mean McDougal's claim of an affair was true and characterized it as an attempt to resolve false allegations that were "personally damaging" toTrump.

The newspaper, citing lawyers and others familiar with the recording, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the recording this year during a raid on Cohen's office.

President Donald Trump is asserting that his former personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal".

On Friday, another Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, initially told the New York Times that the president and Mr Cohen had discussed payments to Ms McDougal on the tape. The New York Times first reported the existence of the recording. The recording had been deemed privileged by a former federal judge, known as a special master, one of the sources said, adding that Trump's lawyers have sent a letter to the special master asking to withdraw the privilege.

Trump and Cohen discussed the possible payment after AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, bought the rights to McDougal's story for $150,000 in August 2016, then sat on it.

On Friday, July 20, three people with knowledge of the conversation told The Post that Cohen had secretly taped a conversation with Trump in September 2016 about whether to purchase the rights to the story of one of those women, Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal.

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"In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence", Giuliani said.

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to Daniels and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters. He also said that Trump told Cohen that any payment should be by check, not cash, so it could be documented properly. An attorney for Cohen called Trump's statement "false".

In a March interview with CNN, McDougal said she had a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007, beginning in the year after Trump married Melania.

The tape was reportedly made two months before the 2016 election that saw Mr Trump become president. She turned down the offer and began a relationship that included, she said, interactions between the two "many dozens of times".

Non-disclosure agreements of the type signed by Ms Daniels and allegedly by Ms McDougal are not in themselves illegal. She filed a lawsuit against AMI this year seeking to regain the rights to her story and settled with the company in April.

But the outlet never published the piece.

Following this news, further details have emerged from both CNN and from Micheal Avenatti, related to these revelations.

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