Trump says ex-lawyer's tape over 'model payment' may be illegal

Trump calls Cohen's taping of phone call 'inconceivable,' possibly illegal

NY is a "one-party" consent state, meaning that as long as one participant in the conversation gives permission to record, it is legal.

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.

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. Trump appears to be receiving a dose of his own medicine, having been known for years to record his conversations without permission.

President Trump on Saturday described former lawyer Michael Cohen's taping of a private conversation between them as "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal", but he reassured supporters that he has done nothing wrong.

The president said in a tweet it might be illegal for a lawyer to record a client.

It was not immediately clear where Trump and Cohen were located at the time of the call.

The raid was an effort by prosecutors in NY to find out more about work that Cohen had done for the President on payments to women such as porn star Stormy Daniels, and model Karen McDougal.

There are many reasons (e.g., knowledge of Trump's finances, awareness of Trump's Russian Federation connections) Trump has been freaked out by the search of Cohen's office, hotel and home.

"Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance", Giuliani told the Times.

But in a further twist to the story, Giuliani tells NBC reporter Kelly O'Donnell on Saturday that the president has waived attorney-client privilege related to the tape. Trump has denied any affair with either Daniels or McDougal. Giuliani said the recording is short--less than two minutes, according to another source - and was simply a professional exchange between a client and his lawyer.


Mr Giuliani said: "The transaction that Michael is talking about on the tape never took place, but what's important is: if it did take place, the president said it has to be done correctly and it has to be done by cheque" to keep a proper record of it.

However, no payment was ever made.

Cohen, Trump's longtime personal lawyer now under criminal investigation in NY for his business dealings, has been openly questioning Trump's fitness as president since Trump's widely criticized press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland last week according to sources who spoke with Axios.

"In the big scheme of things, it's powerful exculpatory evidence", Mr. Giuliani said.

Trump has previously sought to play down reports that Cohen could turn on him despite his ongoing legal battles.

Davis said "any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape".

The Wall Street Journal first reported four days before the November 2016 election that McDougal had been paid by the National Enquirer.

The former Playboy model said that after their first sexual encounter, Trump tried to offer her money.

Cohen reportedly parted ways with his legal team last month to hire new counsel as federal investigators continue to dig into his business dealings.

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