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Posted July 20, 2018, 11:23 am CDT
Donald Trump discussed payments to an ex-Playboy model in a conversation secretly recorded by his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen two months before the election, Rudy Giuliani acknowledged in a conversation with the New York Times.
But the recording is less than two minutes long and it will show that Trump did nothing wrong, according to Giuliani, who is currently the president’s personal lawyer. The recording was reportedly seized by the FBI during its raid on Cohen’s office in April, according to the Times.
Such a conversation would be of “keen interest” to prosecutors who are interested in potential violations of federal campaign finance laws, according to the Times.
But Giuliani said no payment was made to model Karen McDougal, who had alleged an affair with Trump in 2006. McDougal had sold her story about the alleged affair to the National Enquirer for $150,000 in the last months of the presidential campaign, but the story was never published. McDougal has claimed that Cohen secretly participated in the deal.
Nothing in Trump’s conversation suggests advance knowledge, Giuliani said, and Trump had said that if a payment was made, it should be done with a check rather than cash so it could be properly documented.
“In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence,” Giuliani told the Times.
In April, McDougal reached a settlement with the publisher of the National Enquirer that allowed her to go public with allegations of the affair. She had claimed there was no obligation to stay silent because of failures by her own lawyer, who didn’t tell her about the contract’s fine print.
Trump has denied the affair.
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