Cohen Won't Deny Questioning Trump's Fitness to Be President
- Author: Jon Douglas Jul 25, 2018,
Jul 25, 2018, 2:03
As first reported by New York Times, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now in possession of at least one recorded conversation between Michael Cohen and Donald Trump regarding payment to Karen McDougal, 1998 Playmate of the Year, and now the second-most-famous-alleged-Trump-mistress.
Cohen hasn't been charged with any crime.
Despite the President's comment Saturday, he has waived privilege on the recording, said two sources briefed on legal discussions surrounding the materials seized in April.
"I think we need to bring this in-house", Cohen tells Trump, according to one person with knowledge of the recording.
The story had broken in the New York Times on Friday. President Trump's legal team tells ABC News that the president has chosen "not to assert" attorney-client privilege on the audio recording. The company had reached a deal weeks earlier to pay McDougal $150,000 for her story. Trump has denied having an affair with McDougal. Later Lanny Davis, Cohen's newest attorney, put out a statement claiming that "when the recording is heard, it will not hurt Michael Cohen".
Mr Cohen's recording adds to questions about whether Mr Trump tried to quash damaging stories before the election. "AMI had bought the rights from McDougal", Giuliani said in a short interview on Saturday.
Trump during the press conference declined to challenge Putin's insistence that his country did not meddle in the election, then backtracked a day later by saying he misspoke in his comments and that he accepted the assessment of US intelligence agencies that Moscow interfered.
But even if he doesn't decide to "flip" on the President, the mere fact that he recorded conversations with his former boss may be both men's undoing, especially in the event a criminal case is brought.
"Obviously, there is an ongoing investigation, and we are sensitive to that", Davis said in a statement to the Times.
The tape was part of extensive evidence seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an April 9 raid on Cohen, which sparked outrage from the President - "Attorney-client privilege is dead!" "And any attempt to spin can not change what is on the tape".
Mr Giuliani said: "The transaction that Michael is talking about on the tape never took place, but what's important is: if it did take place, the president said it has to be done correctly and it has to be done by cheque" to keep a proper record of it.
Rachel Maddow suspects the news of this damning tape Michael Cohen has of Donald Trump may have been leaked from the Trump camp. The record is seized within the investigation of the Ministry of justice about the attorney's involvement trump the benefits to women with the goal of concealing the statements discrediting the candidate. But lately Cohen has gone out of his way to distance himself from the President, tweeting shade about the president's Helsinki performance.
Cohen's recent public remarks have raised suspicions that he could be willing to seek a cooperation agreement with the USA attorney's office that would require him to provide information federal prosecutors could use against other individuals they are examining.