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Why Cohen’s recording of Trump conversation is a nothing-burger

Why Cohen’s recording of Trump conversation is a nothing-burger

President Donald Trump's legal team decided today to waive attorney-client privilege claims on a Michael Cohen/Trump recording that reportedly discusses a payoff to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who claimed a long affair with the president in 2006. "It was already out there, so no point in objecting except on principle", said Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney. NY law disagrees, allowing one party to a conversation to tape it without the other knowing.

A person familiar with Cohen's legal strategy told NBC News that "a lawyer taping a client is not illegal".

Referring to that raid, Trump called it "inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of". According to lawandcrime.com, Cohen's lawyers still felt that 22 of those ought to have been protected by attorney-client privilege, but said that they would not pursue their objections to those in court.

The story had broken in the New York Times on Friday.

On the recording, Cohen and Trump discuss buying the rights to that contract from AMI, according to Giuliani, who described the contract as a "nondisclosure agreement".

"Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance", Giuliani told the Times.

Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani told CNN that Trump had no idea he was being recorded during his conversation with Cohen, which took place in the then-candidate's office at Trump Tower in September 2016.

Giuliani had earlier denied Trump had an affair with McDougal.

Questions surround $150,000 that McDougal was paid for her story by the National Enquirer, which then allegedly buried the story to protect Trump, who is known to be close to David Pecker, the CEO of the company that owns the Enquirer.

McDougal is one of two adult stars who have said they were silenced during the campaign about the alleged affairs they had with Trump.

The FBI seized documents and files as part of that investigation, which stemmed in part from a referral by the United States special counsel's office, which is looking into possible co-ordination during the 2016 election campaign between Mr Trump's aides and Russian Federation. "And any attempt to spin can not change what is on the tape".

But he said no money was actually ever transferred, and the recording itself amounted to "powerful exculpatory evidence".

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

The investigation "seems intent on damaging the Republican Party's chances in the November Election", Trump tweeted, referring to the upcoming midterm congressional polls.

"There's nothing that's stopping Michael Cohen from releasing the audio recordings that he made between him and the president concerning my client, Ms. McDougal, and others", Avenatti said.

Prosecutors are apparently interested in payments he made on Trump's behalf to porn actress Stormy Daniels, and other business dealings related to Trump.

His comments stoked speculation that he might co-operate with investigators against Mr Trump, although there has been no confirmation so far that he has done so.


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