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Trump, Cohen teams say no more tapes to be released soon

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Michael Cohen and Donald Trump
Michael Cohen and Donald
Trump.

Jonathan
Ernst/Reuters


  • The legal teams representing President Donald Trump and
    his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen tell Business Insider
    not to expect any more recordings to be made public — for
    now.
  • Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, told Business
    Insider the Trump legal team is “not planning to release
    anything more at this point.”
  • Meanwhile, a person close to one of Cohen’s attorneys
    told Business Insider they have “no reason to release any” at
    the moment.

The legal teams representing President Donald Trump and his
former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen told Business Insider not to
expect any more of the attorney’s recordings to be made public in
the immediate future.

Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney, told Business Insider
in a Thursday text message that the Trump legal team is “not
planning to release anything more at this point.”

Meanwhile, a person close to Lanny Davis, one of Cohen’s
attorneys, told Business Insider that “right now, we have no
reason to release any more information.”

The developments come days
after
Davis provided CNN with a secret audio
recording, 
which Cohen is said to have made
in September 2016 without the president’s knowledge. It featured
a conversation between the two men in which they discuss buying
the rights to the story of a former Playboy model, Karen
McDougal, who says she had an affair with Trump years ago.

The National Enquirer purchased the rights to McDougal’s story
for $150,000 in August 2016 but never published it. That practice
is known as “catch and kill,” and it effectively silenced
McDougal’s allegations.

On the tape, Cohen and Trump can be heard discussing a plan to
purchase the rights to McDougal’s story from the outlet’s
publisher, American Media Inc., whose head, David Pecker, is a
longtime friend of Trump.

Though the tape makes clear Trump was aware of the subject before
the 2016 presidential election, his campaign denied any knowledge
of the topic. While Trump’s legal team acknowledged that the
conversation was about McDougal, it said nothing illegal took
place and no payment was made.

The person close to Davis told Business Insider that they were
“forced” to release the tape to counter two comments Giuliani
made:

  • That Cohen, not Trump, used the word “cash.”
  • That Trump did not know about the McDougal payments prior to
    Cohen bringing them up in the conversation. The tape, this person
    said, made it seem clear that Trump was not being introduced to
    this subject for the first time.

Giuliani told The Wall Street
Journal
 that nothing on the tape definitively proved the
president knew of the McDougal deal with American Media Inc.
before that conversation with Cohen. 

“I’m not saying there’s anything here where he says, ‘I’m
surprised, I never heard about this before,'” Giuliani said. “But
there’s nothing here where he says, ‘I did know about it.'”

Plenty more tapes to choose from


Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani.
Leah
Millis/Reuters


In another reported recording, Cohen spoke with CNN host Chris
Cuomo, in a conversation that took place shortly after The
Journal first reported earlier this year on Cohen’s 2016 $130,000
hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

Cohen paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, to
stay quiet about her allegation of a 2006 affair with Trump, who
denies the affair.

In the recording of that nearly two-hour conversation,
which The Journal reported was made
by Cohen without Cuomo’s knowledge, Trump’s former attorney spoke
at length about the payment, saying, “I did it on my own.” That
sentiment echoed what Cohen said for months before Trump admitted
to reimbursing him for the expense in May.

Giuliani told Business Insider that the Trump legal team’s
transcript of the Cohen-Cuomo conversation was “also accurate,”
adding that Cohen “falsely represented to Cuomo” that the
conversation was not recorded.

“That one also has Cohen saying he paid and Trump didn’t know at
time,” Giuliani said.

He did not immediately provide Business Insider with the
transcript.

For both sides, there are many more recordings they could make
public. Beyond the 11 other recordings that have been turned over
to the government after Trump’s team waived privilege, the
government has in its possession more than 100 recordings Cohen
made of conversations with people in which he discussed matters
possibly connected to Trump or the Trump Organization, according
to The Washington Post.

The Post reported that Trump’s voice is on several of the
recordings, but not in any major way. Two Trump allies told The
Post that Trump’s advisers are debating whether they should
release any tapes they believe are unflattering to Cohen.

Davis, on the other hand, told Axios on Wednesday that
there “is more to come.”

Michael Avenatti, Daniels’ attorney, tweeted after the original
tape was aired Tuesday that Cohen must immediately release all of
the tapes, texts, and emails he has that are related to any such
payments and the president.

“NO MORE GAMES,” he wrote.

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