Donald Trump Apparently Recorded Discussing Pay Out Of Playmate

Lester Mason
July 22, 2018

That conversation took place weeks before Trump's November 2016 election.

President Donald Trump took a shot Saturday at his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, over a secretly recorded conversation with him in 2016, tweeting that a lawyer taping a client is "perhaps illegal", before assuring Twitter followers that "your favorite President" did nothing wrong.

According to the Times, the Justice Department seized the documents and recordings from Cohen's office in part to investigate whether payments to women alleging affairs with the president constituted illegal campaign contributions or violations of federal campaign finance laws.

"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of", Trump wrote on Twitter Saturday morning. His lawyers have reviewed a transcript of the tape, and were said to not believe it posed a legal problem for him. Giuliani confirmed the existence of the recordings, which are in the possession of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and told reporters Friday that the tapes would be exculpatory for Trump.

The development was first reported Friday by The New York Times.

On Friday, 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. The discussion, Giuliani said, involved their intention "to reimburse AMI for what they laid out and to do it by check, properly recorded". "In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence".

Cohen finds himself at the center of an investigation in the Southern District of NY into whether he violated campaign-finance laws, committed bank fraud or wire fraud, engaged in illegal lobbying, or participated in other crimes. "This is a very surprising tweet from the president this morning where he suggests his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, committed a crime".

On Monday, Cohen responded to Trump's Helsinki summit with a straightforward message for the President.

"Don't get your chain yanked on this one", she said, arguing that Trump's team realized the tape existed and made a decision to "get out ahead of this story" and shape the narrative. She said that she turned down the offer and that she began a relationship that included interactions between the two "many dozens of times". But the agreement meant that McDougal signed a non-disclosure agreement that prevented her from revealing the affair.

She filed a lawsuit against AMI this year seeking to regain the rights to her story and settled with the company in April. The practice, known as "catch and kill" kept the story from becoming public for the remainder of the presidential campaign. After being silent for more than a decade, she started speaking about it earlier this year, first opening up in an interview with The New Yorker's Ronan Farrow in February.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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