Not long after suggesting he'd consider representing Michael Cohen (despite all of the obvious conflicts that could prevent such a thing), Michael Avenatti is demanding that Cohen show once and for all that he's serious about "doing the right thing".
In the conversation with Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Cohen discusses the $130,000 paid to Ms. Daniels, the porn actress whose real name is Stephanie Clifford and who claimed to have had an affair a decade ago with the future president. [The] Trump Tapes also show Rudy Giuliani lied.
Cohen then shifts the conversation.
On the tape, Trump and Cohen talk about buying the rights to McDougal's story, which she had sold a month earlier to the National Enquirer for $150,000.
By burying Ms. McDougal's story during the campaign in a practice known in the tabloid industry as "catch and kill", A.M.I. protected Mr. Trump from negative publicity that could have harmed his election chances, spending money to do so. "Why is (Trump lawyer Rudy) Giuliani out falsely disparaging Michael Cohen - because they fear him". "The end result is, no payments were made, no cash was given, so this is a big deal about nothing", Dershowitz said. It is critically important that he receive top-quality representation, that his lawyers be coordinated, and that Trump be at least generally aware of their strategies.
Cohen replies, "We'll have to pay".
Michael Cohen Taped Donald Trump Discussing Payments To Playmate
The New York Times also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the recording this year during a raid on Cohen's office. But he said no money was actually ever transferred, and the recording itself amounted to "powerful exculpatory evidence".
This statement makes it clear Trump is familiar with the matter and not learning for the first time of McDougal's allegation or the proposal to arrange a payment.
American Media, Inc.'s payment effectively silenced McDougal through the election, though days beforehand news of the deal emerged in The Wall Street Journal.
At one point, asked if the payment could be construed as an in-kind contribution, Mr. Cohen responds: "It wasn't for the campaign".
The audio is muffled but Trump can be heard saying something about "cash", and then something about paying by "cheque". McDougal claims that she had an affair with Trump in 2006.
This is only important in that it raises questions about whether Trump was trying to hide the potential payment with cash, which can be harder to track.