Michael Avenatti: Cohen evidenced Trump payoffs, pregnancy cover up

Michael Avenatti: Cohen evidenced Trump payoffs, pregnancy cover up

Michael Avenatti: Cohen evidenced Trump payoffs, pregnancy cover up

Michael Cohen's decision to release a secretly recorded tape-in which himself and President Trump discuss hush payments to a Playboy model-has inhabitants of Trumpland anxious about a civil war between the two. "What kind of lawyer would tape a client?" he tweeted on Wednesday.

He said the conversation never should have been recorded in the first place, let alone released in the media. The conversation about the potential payment appears to have been interrupted in the middle of Trump saying what sounds like "check", and abruptly cuts to a different person for a few seconds. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.

Federal prosecutors in NY are investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud, and for possible campaign law violations linked to a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters.

That's according to a secretly recorded tape of the conversation released amid an escalating feud between the president and his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen. That was shortly after now First Lady Melania gave birth to their son, Barron.

Cohen can be heard on the tape saying that he needed to start a company "for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David", a possible reference to David Pecker, Trump's friend and president of the National Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc.

Ms McDougal reportedly received $150,000 (£115,000) from the Enquirer for her story.

On Tuesday night, Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani disputed the idea that the recording shows that Trump knew about the McDougal deal. Trump then asks Cohen, "What financing?"

But what's new and especially threatening to Trump's presidency is Cohen's material, of which there seems to be plenty.

"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of", Trump tweeted, in an apparent reference to an Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Cohen in April.

"So, what do we got to pay for this?"

While Trump never paid for the rights, Lanny Davis says that the recording, made in 2016, shows Trump knew about the payment.

The tape doesn't prove McDougal's allegations of an affair and at no point in the recording does Trump acknowledge whether he had a sexual relationship with McDougal.

Cohen's attorney has said he released the tape after being subjected to an "intense campaign of disparagement" by the president's team.

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani has said the proposed payment was a personal matter and not subject to campaign finance law.

Trump was outraged at the raid on Cohen in April, declaring on Twitter that "attorney client privilege is dead" on Twitter and calling the search "an attack on our country".

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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