Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Trump Tweets Cohen Taping 'Perhaps Illegal' but Denies Own Wrongdoing

U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits his hotel in New York City Stormy Daniels’ lawyer again demands release of Cohen’s alleged Trump tapes following NYT report
Jeannette Daniel | 21 July, 2018, 21:25

The "break in" referenced by Trump was actually the raiding by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in April of the Manhattan office and residences of Trump's then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who is being investigated for potential bank and election-law crimes.

"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of", the president tweeted.

US President Donald Trump has responded to reports that his former attorney Michael Cohen secretly recorded their conversions, calling the move "totally unheard of and probably illegal".

The president also insisted he had done nothing wrong.

"I can't believe Michael would do this to me", he reportedly said.

How did this become an issue?

McDougal is one of two adult stars who have said they were silenced during the campaign about the alleged affairs they had with Trump. Cohen has not yet been arrested or charged.

"When the recording is heard, it will not hurt Mr. Cohen", Davis said in a statement.

Davis said "any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape".

She sold her story for $150,000 in August 2016 but it was never published by the National Enquirer, a practice known as "catch and kill" to prevent a potentially damaging story from becoming public.

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Mitchell Epner, an attorney at Rottenberg Lipman Rich who was previously an assistant USA 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.

But, possibly in reference to questions about whether he had violated any campaign finance laws, Trump added that "your favorite President did nothing wrong!". "In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence".

He later told the New York Times that the two men had in fact spoken about paying the Enquirer for rights to the story, thereby repaying the tabloid the amount it had given to Ms McDougal.

McDougal signed a contract with American Media Inc., the company that owns the National Enquirer, which barred her from publicly speaking about the alleged affair before the 2016 election.

The existence of the audio recording was first reported by the New York Times, which said Trump and Cohen discussed a potential payment to McDougal.

She claims that she started an affair with Trump in 2006, just after his wife, Melania, had their son, Barron.

In May, President Trump admitted that he had reimbursed Mr Cohen for a payment he made to another woman to hush up her claims of an affair.

Mr Trump had previously denied all knowledge of the $130,000 payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement.

Media captionWas Trump's Stormy Daniels payment legal?

Trump, who left Washington on Friday to spend the weekend at his New Jersey golf course, added another chaotic twist to a head-spinning week that began with a widely condemned news conference with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, in Helsinki.

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