Trump responds to Cohen taping: 'Your favourite president did nothing wrong'


"Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance", Giuliani said. Michael Cohen, the man who once said he'd be willing to take a bullet for Donald Trump, has now provided perhaps the strongest evidence against him.

Cohen is under federal investigation for alleged financial crimes.

The Justice Department, as part of its investigation into Cohen, is working to determine if he was involved in paying off women making claims about Trump, and whether that violated any campaign finance laws. But if it turns out that there were multiple payments to women for the goal of aiding the Trump presidential campaign, which was formally launched on June 16, 2015, and those payments were not disclosed as campaign contributions, both the Federal Election Commission and the Department of Justice could potentially pursue claims against Trump and Cohen. New York, where the taping reportedly took place, legally requires only one person's consent for such a recording.

Cohen then proposed that Trump buy the rights to "control" the inflammatory story, according to multiple people familiar with the exchange. If campaign funds were used, that could run afoul of federal election law, legal experts say.

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

Mitchell Epner, an attorney at Rottenberg Lipman Rich who was previously an assistant United States attorney for the District of New Jersey, told Business Insider that Cohen could have made the recording either "for his own protection" or to ensure he got repaid for an expenditure he thought could have been agreed to in the conversation.

Trump and Cohen discussed the possible payment after AMI bought the rights to McDougal's story for $150,000 in August 2016.

The New Yorker magazine reported in February that Trump had an affair with McDougal at the same time he had a relationship with porn star Stormy Daniels and that the National Enquirer prevented McDougal's story being made public.

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It's not yet clear exactly what the nature of the discussion was.

Cohen had made a practice of recording conversations, unbeknownst to those he was speaking with. "Any attempt at spin cannot change what is on the tape".

The president's aides, who spent the first part of the week frantically trying to figure out how to clean up the aftermath of the news conference, have had little to say about accusations by women that Trump's lawyers had paid them for their silence in the wake of extramarital affairs.

The New York State Bar Association calls such secret recording unethical.

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Donald Trump with former Playboy model Karen McDougal in a photo that she posted in 2015. The Playboy model in question is Karen McDougal, who has claimed she had an affair with Trump. McDougal, 47, alleges that she had a 10-month romantic affair with Trump in 2006. But she said her opinion changed this year when she learned new details about the deal, including that her attorney at the time and AMI had both been in contact with Cohen while her deal was being negotiated. She declined to comment further.