Michael Cohen tape fuels debate about Trump, cash and credibility

Michael Cohen tape fuels debate about Trump, cash and credibility

Michael Cohen tape fuels debate about Trump, cash and credibility

I don't believe we have written anything about the "bombshell" tape that President Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, leaked to CNN.

Meanwhile, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed with the New York Times last week that Trump and Cohen had discussed payments - and that "there was no indication on the tape that Mr. Trump knew before the conversation about the payment from the Enquirer's parent company, American Media Inc., to Ms. McDougal". " Mr Trump interrupts: "What financing?"

Moreover, Cohen has only worked for Trump since 2006, and he never operated as a traditional lawyer.

Weisselberg's involvement raises questions about whether Trump's private business tried to protect his campaign.

Alan Futerfas, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, denied that the audio proved that Trump was offering to pay in cash.

If Trump made the alleged payments with his own funds, and made the payments strictly for personal, not campaign reasons, he could be legally in the clear.

It is a potential problem for Mr Trump because undisclosed payments to bury embarrassing stories about a political candidate can be treated as a violation of USA campaign finance laws.

Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed to The Times that Trump discussed payments to McDougal with Cohen, but he said that ultimately no payment was made.

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Common Cause says the tape bolstered their argument that Trump knew about the payment and that it was potentially illegal. When Cohen tells Trump, "We'll have to pay".

In the recording, Trump can be heard saying "pay with cash".

The debate over whether Trump was advocating for payments via cash or cheque is "irrelevant" in determining whether he violated campaign finance laws, said Joshua Douglas, a professor of election law at the University of Kentucky. On Tuesday night, CNN aired a recording of Trump and Cohen discussing a hush money payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who says she had an affair with the president.

Mr Giuliani said the president says "don't pay with cash".

The tape then cuts off abruptly - a fact the president jumped on.

The recording turned up after federal agents raided Cohen's office, home and hotel room this spring as part of an investigation into possible fraud and violation of election laws.

Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, released the recording to CNN on Tuesday night in what is seen as an open hostility between the USA president and Cohen. If he winds up in investigators' crosshairs for secreting payoffs, he could potentially provide much more damaging information to prosecutors than Cohen ever could about the president's dealmaking.

"The only thing Michael Cohen is worse at than lawyering, is sound recording", he added.

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