Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Tape of Trump discussing hush money for alleged affair released

Trump-Cohen recording of pay-off talk broadcast on US TV Audio of Trump and Michael Cohen Talking About Karen McDougal Payment Has Leaked
Glenn Montgomery | 26 July, 2018, 15:40

In the secretly recorded audiotape from two months before the 2016 election - which was provided to CNN by Cohen's lawyer Lanny Davis - Cohen and Trump apparently discuss buying the rights to a Playboy model's story claiming an affair with Trump.

The tape involves Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who says she had a months-long fling with Trump after they met in 2006, shortly after Trump's wife Melania gave birth to their son, Barron.

A person with knowledge of the Trump team's decision making on the matter told Business Insider the president's attorneys waived their privilege claims over all of the tapes because they claim Cohen had been discussing them with others, such as Michael Avenatti, the attorney for porn star Stormy Daniels, who is suing the president and Cohen.

In the unwieldy tape, Cohen and Trump appear to be discussing plans to set up a shell company buy the rights to McDougal's story, which was purchased by American Media Inc.

Citing "people familiar with the matter", the newspaper said Mr. Cohen, President Trump's longtime personal lawyer, recorded a almost two-hour conversation with CNN anchorman Chris Cuomo.

Some legal experts, however, say that if the payment was made for personal reasons, it would not run afoul of federal election laws.

His comments stoked speculation that he might co-operate with investigators against Mr Trump, although there has been no confirmation so far that he has done so.

"Cohen then says "No, no, no, no" and he cuts off the tape".

Without any claim to attorney-client privilege, investigators - including those working on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation - would have free reign to examine a slew of documents and tapes about Trump and Cohen's business dealings.

"I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David, so that I'm going to do that right away", Cohen says in the recording.

"I did it on my own", Cohen said, according to the Journal. "Whatever spin Mr. Giuliani is trying to invent, it says 'cash, ' and Michael Cohen says 'no, no, no'". Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. After Trump became president his lawyers created a trust that safeguards his interest in the Trump Organization while ostensibly managing the company without his input.

The model, Karen McDougal, claims to have had a almost yearlong affair with Trump in 2006, right before Melania Trump gave birth to their son Barron.

Throughout the interview, Davis painted Cohen as a victim of attacks by Trump, Giuliani and their allies.

"With the leak of this tape, people are saying 'all bets are off.' There's a wait-and-see attitude", Michael Caputo, a former communications advisor on the Trump campaign, told Observer.

This chatter is noteworthy because it shows Cohen advising Trump on campaign matters. His new-found willingness to share details of his work will rattle the president.

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has repeatedly said that Trump never made any payments on the issue. "In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence", Giuliani added. At the time, a Trump spokeswoman said his campaign had "no knowledge of any of this".

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