Donald Trump Denounces Michael Cohen For “Perhaps Illegal” Taping Of Him On Karen McDougal Payment
President Donald Trump responded to news of former personal attorney Michael Cohen’s tapes of the two discussing payment to keep the president’s former affair with ex-Playmate Karen McDougal under wraps.
The tapes were uncovered by the F.B.I back in April during a raid on the attorney’s home and office as part of a criminal investigation into Cohen by the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.
Inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer’s office (early in the morning) – almost unheard of. Even more inconceivable that a lawyer would tape a client – totally unheard of & perhaps illegal. The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 21, 2018
Trump called the raid “inconceivable” and “unheard of,” even though the F.B.I had court-approved search warrants to conduct the searches at the time.
According to Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, the president was unaware that he was being recorded during the meeting, which took place in September of 2016 — just prior to the election.
Contrary to the president’s tweet, the recording is still in fact legal in New York State. As a “one party” consent state, the recording is legal as long as one participant in the conversation gives permission to record. There is however a question of ethics. In 2003, the New York City Bar Association issued an opinion discouraging lawyers from routinely recording conversations without informing their clients, labeling it “ethically impermissible” because it includes a “sufficient lack of candor” and “element of trickery.”
Despite the president’s misgivings, he has since waived attorney-client privilege on the recorded tapes. This means that prosecutors with the Southern District of New York are now able to access the tape in their ongoing investigation into Cohen. He currently faces criminal charges centered around his personal business dealings, most notably various alleged hush-money payments made to protect Trump during his presidential campaign.