President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording.
Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 (€111,000) payment to Daniels and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.
The erstwhile Trump loyalist has hired a new attorney, Clinton White House veteran Lanny Davis, and disassociated himself from the president as both remain under investigation. The official, former federal Judge Barbara Jones, said in the filing that the 12 recordings were turned over to prosecutors after claims that they were privileged were dropped.
The special master process reviews the seized material only for questions of attorney-client privilege, not for relevance, meaning it is up to the prosecutors to determine whether the audio recordings are useful to any criminal case.
The court-ordered "special master", who released the tapes to the feds on Monday, also didn't return a request for comment. It is unclear who appears on the tapes.
And now Avenatti, buoyed by the news that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is in possession of at least one such tape which was secretly recorded by Cohen, told MSNBC's Ari Melber that he is absolutely certain that Trump's former ally has more damaging tapes in his possession - possibly even one where the two discussed the $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels for keeping her mouth shut about her affair with Donald Trump. "Let me tell you this, if I'm wrong, then why don't we have Mr. Trump or his attorneys come forward today, right now and claim there are no other tapes?"
The tabloid never published the story. That practice is known as "catch and kill", and it effectively silenced McDougal's allegations. Although Avenatti has long claimed that there are many recordings of Trump's conversations, his assertion hasn't been corroborated.
The news that an audio tape was made by Michael Cohen of his conversation with his then-client Donald Trump in reference to, at least, hush money paid to a Playboy model the now-President was alleged to have had an affair with had heads spinning.
That payment was never ade, Giuliani said.
Other reports have differed from Giuliani's description.
"I know the substance of some of the tapes", Avenatti said on the program.
The tape details payments made to porn stars that President Tump had affairs with months before the 2016 presidential election.
In a tweet on Saturday, the president denied any wrongdoing and expressed surprise at the tape's existence.
The government - acting on a search warrant - did not break into Cohen's office. Cohen proposed paying about $150,000 to AMI, the sources said, and on the tape Trump can be heard telling Cohen to make sure the payment is properly documented in order to keep a record of it.
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