President Trump’s interminable legal troubles roared back into the public eye this morning when the New York Times revealed that his longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen, had recorded audio of Donald Trump himself discussing secret hush money payments to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, with whom the President had an almost year-long affair with after his wife had given birth to his son Barron.
The audio was discovered by lawyers in the documents seized from Cohen’s office. The president’s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, confirmed the existence of the recording and that Trump had discussed the payments but ultimately had never made them, attempting to argue that it was “proof the president had done nothing wrong.”
“Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of it in advance…In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence” argued Giuliani.
We would wager that federal prosecutors will not be so generous in their assessment.
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McDougal ended the affair after she began to feel guilty for enabling Trump’s neglect of his wife and newborn child – and for rude remarks that he had made about the size of her friend’s breasts and about her friend’s relationships with African-American men, according to the New Yorker.
She sold her story to the National Enquirer shortly before the election for $150,000, but the Enquirer — whose parent company is run by longtime Trump associate David Pecker — sat on the story instead. Their refusal to go public prompted a lawsuit filed by McDougal against American Media Inc. earlier this year in a successful effort to get herself released from her non-disclosure agreement.
The audio puts the President and his legal team into a sticky situation, as they have publicly dismissed the allegations as just more “fake news.”
As federal prosecutors dive deeper into Michael Cohen’s closet in search of evidence proving he violated campaign finance laws in his efforts to pay off and silence all the women that could come forward with embarrassing stories about the president and his nigh-constant philandering, it’s looking more and more likely that Cohen is going to turn on Trump — and God only knows what kind of secrets about Trump that he has to share with the world.