- The legal teams representing President Donald Trump and his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen tell Business Insider not to expect any more recordings to be made public – for now.
- Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, told Business Insider the Trump legal team is “not planning to release anything more at this point.”
- Meanwhile, a person close to one of Cohen’s attorneys told Business Insider they have “no reason to release any” at the moment.
The legal teams representing President Donald Trump and his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen told Business Insider not to expect any more of the attorney’s recordings to be made public in the immediate future.
Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, told Business Insider in a Thursday text message that the Trump legal team is “not planning to release anything more at this point.”
Meanwhile, a person close to Lanny Davis, one of Cohen’s attorneys, told Business Insider that “right now, we have no reason to release any more information.”
The developments come days after Davis provided CNN with a secret audio recording,which Cohen is said to have made in September 2016 without the president’s knowledge. It featured a conversation between the two men in which they discuss buying the rights to the story of a former Playboy model, Karen McDougal, who says she had an affair with Trump years ago.
The National Enquirer purchased the rights to McDougal’s story for $US150,000 in August 2016 but never published it. That practice is known as “catch and kill,” and it effectively silenced McDougal’s allegations.
On the tape, Cohen and Trump can be heard discussing a plan to purchase the rights to McDougal’s story from the outlet’s publisher, American Media Inc., whose head, David Pecker, is a longtime friend of Trump.
Though the tape makes clear Trump was aware of the subject before the 2016 presidential election, his campaign denied any knowledge of the topic. While Trump’s legal team acknowledged that the conversation was about McDougal, it said nothing illegal took place and no payment was made.
The person close to Davis told Business Insider that they were “forced” to release the tape to counter two comments Giuliani made:
- That Cohen, not Trump, used the word “cash.”
- That Trump did not know about the McDougal payments prior to Cohen bringing them up in the conversation. The tape, this person said, made it seem clear that Trump was not being introduced to this subject for the first time.
Giuliani told The Wall Street Journal that nothing on the tape definitively proved the president knew of the McDougal deal with American Media Inc. before that conversation with Cohen.
“I’m not saying there’s anything here where he says, ‘I’m surprised, I never heard about this before,'” Giuliani said. “But there’s nothing here where he says, ‘I did know about it.'”
Plenty more tapes to choose from
In another reported recording, Cohen spoke with CNN host Chris Cuomo, in a conversation that took place shortly after The Journal first reported earlier this year on Cohen’s 2016 $US130,000 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Cohen paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to stay quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump, who denies the affair.
In the recording of that nearly two-hour conversation, which The Journal reported was made by Cohen without Cuomo’s knowledge, Trump’s former attorney spoke at length about the payment, saying, “I did it on my own.” That sentiment echoed what Cohen said for months before Trump admitted to reimbursing him for the expense in May.
Giuliani told Business Insider that the Trump legal team’s transcript of the Cohen-Cuomo conversation was “also accurate,” adding that Cohen “falsely represented to Cuomo” that the conversation was not recorded.
“That one also has Cohen saying he paid and Trump didn’t know at time,” Giuliani said.
He did not immediately provide Business Insider with the transcript.
For both sides, there are many more recordings they could make public. Beyond the 11 other recordings that have been turned over to the government after Trump’s team waived privilege, the government has in its possession more than 100 recordings Cohen made of conversations with people in which he discussed matters possibly connected to Trump or the Trump Organisation, according to The Washington Post.
The Post reported that Trump’s voice is on several of the recordings, but not in any major way. Two Trump allies told The Post that Trump’s advisers are debating whether they should release any tapes they believe are unflattering to Cohen.
Davis, on the other hand, told Axios on Wednesday that there “is more to come.”
Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney, tweeted after the original tape was aired Tuesday that Cohen must immediately release all of the tapes, texts, and emails he has that are related to any such payments and the president.
“NO MORE GAMES,” he wrote.
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