Trump signals consequences for Cohen over secret recording

U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits his hotel in New York City

U.S. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits his hotel in New York City

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

President Donald Trump has condemned his former lawyer Michael Cohen amid U.S. media reports that he secretly recorded Mr Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model. "The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!".

Friday's reports raised questions about why Trump's campaign denied knowledge of the deal between McDougal and American Media when it became public, and they fanned speculation about how much damage Cohen might be able to inflict on the president.

Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani has maintained that the tape will prove that Trump did not know about the nature of any payment to Karen McDougal or for her story. The president's current personal lawyer confirmed the conversation and said it showed Trump did nothing wrong, according to the Times.

"In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence", he said. Most states, including NY, allow for recordings of conversations with only the consent of one party; other states require all parties to agree to a recording or have mixed laws on the matter. Newsweek says that Cohen recorded the phone call for insurance in case Trump ever turned against him.

The White House has said Trump denies having sex with Daniels.

Trump's lawyers asking to remove the privilege designation from the recording means that the government now has access to it as part of the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York's probe into Cohen.

"But suffice it to say that when the recording is heard, it will not hurt Mr. Cohen".

Donald Trump with former Playboy model Karen McDougal in a photo that she posted in 2015.

The other woman, adult film actress Stormy Daniels, says Cohen paid her $130,000 in exchange for her silence about an affair she says she had with Trump in 2006.

Michael Cohen and Donald Trump.

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 Daniels and other matters related to Trump's campaign, a person familiar with the investigation has told Reuters. "Any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape".

The search warrant needed for the raid had been issued thanks to a referral from the head of "Russiagate" probe, Robert S. Mueller, and has already been decried by Cohen's lawyer as "inappropriate and unnecessary".

In her lawsuit against AMI, McDougal said she was happy when AMI bought her story then did not publish it, because she was not anxious for publicity.

The New York State Bar Association calls such secret recording unethical. The source also said that Cohen "is no longer taking a bullet for you (Trump), is no longer a flunky", calling his declaration of independence "his July 4th moment".

"We have no knowledge of any of this", she said.

McDougal sold her story to The National Enquirer for $150,000, according to the Times. McDougal, 47, alleges that she had a 10-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006.

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