Global

President Trump Blasts Former Attorney Michael Cohen for Secret Recordings

President Trump Blasts Former Attorney Michael Cohen for Secret Recordings

Trump tweeted on Saturday, lamenting how "inconceivable" it is that a lawyer would record a client without permission and suggesting that it's "perhaps illegal" to do so.

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.

Regarding Trump's claim of potential illegality, New York state law permits the recording of a phone call or an in-person conversation as long as one party consents, according to attorney John B. Harris, who authored an article on the subject for the New York Legal Ethics Reporter.

In Trump's first direct reaction to a report broken by the New York Times a day earlier, he added in a Twitter post: "The good news is that your favourite President did nothing wrong!"

The tapes were reportedly discovered during an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Mr Cohen's property earlier this year in NY.

In a statement Friday, President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed the recording's existence and said no payment was ever made.

Laws on taping private conversations differ from state to state, and it is not clear where Cohen recorded Trump.

"In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence", he said.

NY is a "one-party consent" state, meaning that in general, it is legal to record a conversation as long as at least one party agrees, even if that person is the one doing the recording. Giuliani added that Trump told Cohen that if he did pay McDougal, it should be in the form of a check instead of cash so that it could be properly recorded, The Times said.

He said the recording was less than two minutes and demonstrated the president had done nothing wrong.

Trump is largely silent in the conversation, the people said, neither expressing surprise nor indicating whether he knew previously about the AMI deal.

Mr Cohen - who once vowed he would take a bullet for Mr Trump - told ABC News this month that his loyalty is to his family and country came before his old boss. Presumably Trump and Cohen wanted to take over the rights to the tape so that they could be sure about the scandal staying on the down low.

Both Daniels and McDougal allege they had affairs with Trump around the same time, in 2006.

Michael Cohen leaves federal court in NY. "Any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape", Davis said in a statement on Friday.

In a March interview with CNN, McDougal said she had a 10-month affair with Trump in 2006 and 2007, beginning in the year after Trump married Melania.

Mitchell Epner, an attorney at Rottenberg Lipman Rich who was previously an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, told Business Insider that Cohen could have made the recording either "for his own protection" or to ensure he got repaid for an expenditure he thought could have been agreed to in the conversation.

"We have no knowledge of any of this", she said.

The raid on Cohen's home office and hotel stemmed from an investigation by NY federal prosecutors for potential violations of banking and election laws.

She says the $150,000 (£115,000) agreement gave the tabloid exclusive story rights and banned her from talking publicly about the alleged affair.