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Ex-Lawyer For Former President Donald Trump Testifies That He Secretly Recorded Him Before 2016 Election

A onetime lawyer for former President Donald Trump testified on Monday that he secretly recorded Trump before the 2016 election while he was working for him.

Michael Cohen, who previously worked for Trump, said during his testimony at the former president’s criminal trial in New York that he used his iPhone to record a conversation between himself and Trump in September of 2016. Cohen claimed that the conversation was in regards to a supposed payment to former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker over an alleged affair between Trump and model Karen McDougal. 

Cohen, whose credibility has been challenged by Trump and other Republicans, claimed he recorded the conversation to show that Trump was going to pay Pecker. 

“It was so I could show it to David Pecker and that way he would hear the conversation, that he would know that we’re going to be paid, Mr. Trump is going to be paying him back,” Cohen said. “I also wanted him to remain loyal to Mr. Trump.”

When asked if Trump was aware that he was being recorded, Cohen said he was not. In the recording, Cohen says he will be setting up a company to transfer “all of that info regarding our friend David.” 

The recording came out as part of his testimony on Cohen’s claims about Trump’s alleged relationships with McDougal and Stormy Daniels. The supposed relationships with the women are the focal point of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the 34 counts of falsifying business records he faces and denied the relationships. 

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), who attended the trial on Monday, ripped into Cohen over the recording revelation. Also in attendance were Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), and Iowa AG Brenna Bird. 

“Michael Cohen is the prosecution’s star witness. This guy is a convicted felon who admitted in his testimony that he secretly recorded his former employer, that he only did it once, allegedly, and that this was supposed to help Donald Trump. Does any reasonable, sensible person believe anything that Michael Cohen says?” Vance said.

Cohen previously pleaded guilty in 2018 to multiple crimes, including lying to Congress, and ended up serving time in prison. 

 

“The thing that the president is prevented from saying, which is a disgrace, is that every single person involved in this prosecution is practically a Democratic political operative,” Vance added. “What’s going on inside that courtroom is a threat to American democracy.”

House Republicans have pushed the Justice Department to investigate Cohen after they sent a criminal referral saying that he likely committed perjury during his testimony before Congress in 2019.

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