Trump says it's 'sad' Cohen recorded him

Leroy Wright
July 26, 2018

Davis said that the tape's release sends the message: "I am no longer the previous Michael Cohen that you knew - taking a bullet for Donald Trump, saying anything to defend him, being a good soldier".

"What kind of lawyer would tape a client?"

"So sad! Is this a first, never heard of it before?" Trump on Wednesday suggested the tape was cut just as he was "presumably saying positive things", although there was no evidence of that.

Without any claim to attorney-client privilege, investigators - including those working on special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation - would have free reign to examine a slew of documents and tapes about Trump and Cohen's business dealings. "Too bad!" Trump tweeted.

ABC News has obtained the secret audio recording between Donald Trump and his attorney Michael Cohen. An attorney for Cohen called Trump's statement "false".

They are investigating his business practices, as is the team led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating matters connected to Cohen as part of the broader probe of Russian election interference and possible obstruction of justice by the president.

Trump is right. It wasn't illegal or necessarily improper for Cohen to tape a conversation with his client, but to release that tape to CNN was a shocking violation of his duty to preserve client confidences under the New York Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility, DR 4-101. Despite the comments, the recording was leaked by CNN on Tuesday evening.

During an interview on Fox News, Napolitano explained why the secretly recorded tape could be concerning for Trump and his associates. He says Trump actually says, "Don't pay with cash", showing Trump was not trying to hide the potential payment to a media company to keep model Karen McDougal's story from becoming public.

If Trump's lawyers really did waive privilege on the Cohen/McDougal recording so that Giuliani could spin it to the press, it was, in my view, a blunder.

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Cohen, who no longer works for the USA president, is under federal investigation in NY for his business dealings and reportedly whether hush payments violated campaign finance laws. "CHECK." And why are they leaking falsely privileged and confidential information. "So much for ethics!"

Last week, Giuliani said the recording would prove that "the President said it has to be done correctly and it has to be done by check".

"Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of", he tweeted. I hear there are other clients and many reporters that are taped - can this be so?

The FBI, however, was executing court-approved warrants in conducting the searches. The tape is one of 12 seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during raids on Cohen's home and office. The prosecutors for the Southern District of NY said at the time that special counsel Robert Mueller's office had referred a case about Cohen's business dealings to their office and had not been involved since.

Trump was outraged at the raid on Cohen in April, declaring on Twitter that "attorney client privilege is dead" on Twitter and calling the search "an attack on our country".

In the months since, speculation has grown about what the legal pressure on Cohen might mean for Trump - discussion far removed from Cohen's claim a year ago that he would "take a bullet" for the President.

The tape was reportedly recorded two months before the 2016 presidential election - before the Trump campaign subsequently denied any knowledge about Karen McDougal's allegations of a 10-month fling with the tycoon.

"He's now dedicated to telling the truth to everyone, and we'll have to see what happens", Davis said. "It also creates a new headache for the White House as it continues to deal with fallout from Trump's meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and trade disputes with some of the world's biggest economies".

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