It has been three days since news broke that U.S. President Donald Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded their conversation about a possible payout to a former Playboy model over the story of her affair with Trump. New developments in court in New York have revealed that apart from recording this conversation with Trump, Cohen made 12 more recordings which were seized by FBI officers during a raid on his home and office premises earlier this year.
That Cohen had made 12 more recordings was revealed when the retired judge who is deciding whether U.S. prosecutors may review the seized material said in a Monday filing that “the parties” — presumably Trump and Cohen — no longer object to the government listening to “12 audio items.” The parties had previously claimed the 12 items were “privileged” – covered by attorney-client privilege and couldn’t be seen by the government.
The FBI is probing Cohen’s business dealings and his involvement in paying women to keep quiet about their alleged relationships with Trump which would be a breach of election laws as this was carried out as Donald Trump was running for the office of the President.
The recordings were handed over to the government on Friday, the retired judge overseeing the review, said in her one-page order. “On July 20, 2018, the parties withdrew their designations of ‘privileged’ as to 12 audio items that were under consideration by the special master,”Barbara Jones said. “The special master released the 12 items to the government that day.”
The order doesn’t specify what’s in the audio tapes and it is not certain whether Donald Trump is featured speaking in any of the other tapes provided to prosecutors.
Michael Avenatti, who is representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels — who has also alleged a relationship with Trump previously — told Bloomberg the judge’s order “confirmed” there are “multiple recordings”.
Enough with the whining. It should come as no surprise to Mr. Trump that 1) Mr. Cohen would record their discussions (because Trump knew Cohen did this to others and approved of it) and 2) Cohen didn’t trust him (he knew Trump is a con man and an habitual, disloyal liar). #Basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 22, 2018
Mr. Cohen has a copy of all 12 recordings. There is now no claim of privilege and there is no court order requiring them to be kept secret. They must be released immediately. Otherwise, he should not ever try and claim he is a Patriot or speak of love of country! #Basta
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) July 23, 2018
Avenatti first claimed about the existence of such purported audio recordings well back in the month of May this year.