Cohen Tapes Indicate Fraud, Not Protected By Attorney-Client Privilege

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump

Trump's comments came the morning after Lanny Davis, a lawyer for Cohen, released a recording of a September 2016 phone call between Trump and Cohen that makes it appear Trump was familiar with a deal that Playboy model Karen McDougal made to sell the rights to her story of an alleged affair with him.

Trump has previously denied knowledge of the $130,000 payment to Daniels that was facilitated by Cohen. Trump asked in a Twitter post on Wednesday. As we know, the National Enquirer paid former Playboy Model Karen McDougal $150,000 to purchase and suppress the story about her 2006 affair with Donald Trump. "I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David", Cohen said in the recording, a likely reference to American Media boss David Pecker.

Reuters was unable to verify the entire exchange between the two men because of the poor sound quality of the recording. It remains unclear who was recorded on the Cohen audio tapes, and when.

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, insists Trump said, "Don't pay with cash".

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani told Fox News' "The Ingraham Angle" that Trump told Cohen, "don't pay with cash" and slammed Cohen for making the recording "surreptitiously". The Enquirer never ran the story, a fact that many argue strongly suggests that the tabloid killed it at Trump's behest.

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Mr Davis, a top aide in the Clinton White House, said Mr Cohen, who has had a falling out with the president, was dedicated to "telling the truth".

Trump's lawyers waived privilege so they could speak freely about the tapes, now that they claim Cohen is separately speaking about them, the person said.

Davis said the tape is among audio recordings that were seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a raid of Cohen's home and office in April. "It involves the discussion of how this corporation that was being set up to supposedly buy back any potentially damaging stories about Trump would pay for any such properties". Giuliani and Trump have both asserted that Cohen was reimbursed through his $35k monthly retainer.

Lanny Davis, who represents Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen, provided the tape to CNN on Tuesday.

He told Fox News's Laura Ingraham that he's dealt with much worse tapes than this and that the audio does not prove what Davis thinks it proves. Cohen tells Trump that The New York Times wants to unseal documents on his divorce from Ivana Trump ahead of the election (an effort that was ultimately unsuccessful, as Cohen predicts). Special master Barbara Jones wrote in a court filing to US District Judge Kimba Wood that privilege claims were withdrawn over 12 audio tapes seized from Cohen - an action that could've been taken by either Cohen, Trump, or the Trump Organization.

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