Federal investigators have seized more than 100 recordings that Michael Cohen made of conversations he had with people related to President Donald Trump and his business and campaign dealings, The Washington Post reported.
According to two people familiar with the tapes who spoke with the Post, a large swath of the recorded conversations are between Cohen and reporters who interviewed him during the campaign. Trump himself is heard on several of the tapes, but only in small doses, according to the Post. The most valuable recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen is the one that was released by Cohen’s attorney on Tuesday, where the two discuss a payment to a former Playboy model.
The majority of the recordings were made on an iPhone, without the other party’s knowledge. Cohen’s attorney Lenny Davis told the Post that Cohen’s intent with the recordings was never deception.
“Michael Cohen had the habit of using his phone to record conversations instead of taking notes,” Davis said.
The Trump team is reportedly contemplating whether to ask a court to rule on Cohen’s “indiscriminate release of material,” in the Post’s words. Trump’s advisers are also considering whether they should instead play along and release damning recordings of Cohen, according to two people close to the President.
Cohen reportedly decided to flip on Trump over feelings of personal betrayal, not as part of any significant legal strategy. Davis told the Post that Cohen had to “hit a reset button” and decided he didn’t want to “be a punching bag anymore.”
Read the Post’s full report on the additional Trump-Cohen tapes and what made Cohen flip here.
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