Michael D. Cohen, the president’s controversial personal lawyer, is yet again involved in a scandal that could compromise his public image even more. He currently has a recorded conversation between him and Donald Trump where they discussed arrangements to be done to a Playboy model who had an affair with the president. The National Enquirer was the company that first reported on the affair’s story, during the final months of Trump’s campaign.
The audio was obtained by the FBI after a raid in Cohen’s office, where relevant documents and electronic devices were taking away from him for investigation. This and previous evidence involving porn star Stormy Daniels are being investigated by the Department of Justice and analyzed to see if Trump violated federal campaign finance laws. Because of this, Cohen’s audio tape could be an invaluable piece for their case, as it is the only instance where Trump can be heard directly addressing the payment process involved in the procedures.
Trump had previously argued that he was completely ignorant of payments to the model, and the new piece of evidence sheds light into ways in which he and his team have managed to keep several aspects of his personal life away from the public. After undergoing public backlash for having supported Donald Trump in his morally dubious actions, Cohen now seems to be much more willing to cooperate with the investigation.
According to model Karen McDougal, she engaged in a year-long affair with the current president in the year 2006, shortly after the birth of Trump’s son Barron. Continuing his tradition of going against what the Trump team plans, lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed that Trump had arranged payments with McDougal and Cohen through phone calls. Giuliani stated that the phone call only lasted a couple of minutes and that the president was unaware of being recorded. According to him, no moment in the recording indicated that Trump was aware from the payment from Enquirer’s parent company to the model.
However, Giuliani constantly attempted to diminish the phone call’s importance, stating that it should not be a key piece of evidence in the investigation. He stated:
[The length of the call] can’t be more than a minute and a half. Twice someone walks in — someone brings soda in for them. It’s not some secret conversation. Neither one seems to be concerned anyone would hear it. It went off on irrelevant subjects that have nothing to do with this. It’s a very professional conversation between a client and a lawyer and the client saying, ‘Do it right.’ ”
Prosecutors are still yet to listen to the tape itself, since it is protected by attorney-client privilege. Their ability to do so will be ruled by a federal judge who is currently analyzing the case.
The relationship between Donald Trump and Michael Cohen has drastically changed during these last couple of months. As Trump has constantly stated that he would not plan to pardon Cohen if he were to find himself in legal trouble, the lawyer has decreased his willingness to help the president and started preparing for the worse case scenario. This caused for him to publicly invite prosecutors to talk to him in an ABC interview.
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