President Trump’s one time personal attorney and self pro-claimed fixer, Michael Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation between he and then candidate Trump The New York Times reported Friday.
The taped conversation(s) were seized pursuant to a warrant by the F.B.I in April of this year. Cohen is currently under investigation for among other things, whether or not he was involved in payments to women to tamp down news story that might embarrass then candidate Donald Trump, and whether or not these payments violated campaign finance laws.
According to the Times the conversation between then candidate Trump and Cohen involves discussion of “payments to a former Playboy model,” this according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording.
President Trump’s lawyer and former Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, spoke to the Times by phone on Friday and confirmed the telephone conversation, he told the Times, “Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance.”
Giuliani adds that President Trump, then candidate Trump as the conversation took place two months prior to the presidential election, told Cohen that “if he were to make a payment related to the woman,” rather than sending cash, he should write a check so “it could be properly documented.”
Giuliani explained that the payment was ultimately never made and that “In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence.”
The former model in question Karen McDougal, claims that she and then businessman Donald Trump, had a nearly year long affair in 2006, just after Melania Trump had given birth to their son Barron.
McDougal had sold her story to the National Enquirer, for $150,000 during those final months of the presidential election cycle, it is said that the chairman of the Enquirer’s parent company, David J. Pecker, sat on the story in order to “catch and kill,” it before it could damage then candidate Trump.
It’s alleged that Cohen took part in that deal, secretly, according to McDougal, that allegation is now part of the F.B.I investigation.
Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis, the one time Clinton lawyer, told the Times, “We have nothing to say on this matter,” in regards to the taped conversation.
The Wall Street Journal in November 2016, was the first to report about the payment between then candidate Trump and McDougal at the time then campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks told the Journal, “We have no knowledge of any of this,” adding that the allegations of the affair, were “totally untrue.”
When confirming the existence of the tape Giuliani also stated that,
Why This Matters
- How many others tapes exist?
- It lends credibility to the idea that a sitting President is vulnerable to blackmail.
- President Trump met with Vladimir Putin in private, but questions swirl as to if it was “private,” and what if anything President Trump may or may not have promised Putin.