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22 July 2018, 01:11 | Tara Lloyd
Michael Avenatti: Michael Cohen Has Multiple Secret Tapes Of Trump And Should Release Them All [VIDEO]
Giuliani also said that no campaign funding was involved in the discussion between Trump and Cohen, who has distanced himself from Trump as the FBI investigates business dealings undertaken by the president's former lawyer.
In his first public comments since reports were published on the recording in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal on Friday, Trump said it was "inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal". That conversation took place weeks before Trump's November 2016 election. "The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!". It is ironic that Trump would complain about a privileged tape that would not have been released and then chooses to make it public himself.
Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has maintained that the tape will prove that Trump did not know about the nature of any payment to Karen McDougal or for her story.
Cohen had made a practice of recording telephone conversations, unbeknownst to those with whom he was speaking.
"Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance", Giuliani told The Times. Two other sources said that beyond the tape with the President there were other recordings of "powerful" people speaking with Cohen that the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized.
To pursue criminal charges against Cohen for breaking federal election law, prosecutors would have to have evidence that the payments went to the women to influence the election, rather than just to protect Trump personally. NY state, for example, has a "one-party consent" law, which makes it a crime to record an in-person or telephone conversation unless one party participating in the conversation consents.
Giuliani said the conversation involved reimbursing American Media Inc for McDougal's story rights, but the payment was never made, Reuters reported.
With his tweet, Trump signaled open warfare on Cohen, a longtime fixer he had until now tried to keep by his side.
Michael Cohen and Donald Trump. "Any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape". A Trump adviser said Trump suggested using a check, while a person close to Cohen claimed Cohen was the one who advised that route.
The former model, Karen McDougal, said she began an almost yearlong affair with Mr Trump in 2006 shortly after his wife, Melania, gave birth to their son, Barron, the Times said.
Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Mr Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and other matters related to Mr Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.
In her lawsuit against AMI, McDougal said she was happy when AMI bought her story then did not publish it, because she was not anxious for publicity.
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