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.
Less than an hour ago, news broke that the Special Master reviewing evidence obtained from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, has released "12 audio items" recovered from the raid of Cohen's office on April 9, 2018, to prosecutors.
Trump's early-morning tweet was his first direct reaction to a New York Times report Friday that the FBI had seized the recording during an April raid on Cohen's office amid an investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian Federation.
"Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client - totally unheard of & perhaps illegal", Trump added. The president's new attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, confirmed the existence of both the conversation and the recording.
Cohen recorded a conversation he had with President Donald Trump in 2016 about possible payments to a media company for a story about Karen McDougal, the Playboy playmate who claims to have had an affair with Trump in 2006, The New York Times reported Friday. Cohen has not been charged with any crime.
Asked about the deal just days before the 2016 election, the Trump campaign's then-spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Wall Street Journal: "We have no knowledge of any of this". NY state law allows for recordings of conversations with only the consent of one party; other jurisdictions require all parties to agree.
After President Trump dumped Michael Cohen on Twitter for recording private conversations with him, Cohen has expressed a sense of resilience to close friends. But his cooperation with the government could prove vital to prosecutors - a scenario that could be made more likely by an open split with Trump.
"I know the substance of some of the tapes", Avenatti said on the program. If Trump indeed told Cohen to write a check so that it could be properly documented, then he clearly had no intention of hiding the payment. According to him, Trump and Cohen discussed buying the story from the publication.
"There is no way to spin the two falsehoods that Mr. Giuliani, on behalf of his client, Donald Trump, told America to disparage my client".
Cohen, the former personal lawyer to the President, was dining with his son and another person at Scalintella on Manhattan's Upper East Side when Avenatti, the attorney for former adult film star Stormy Daniels, walked into the restaurant. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.