by Chuck Ross
Twelve audio files recorded by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen were handed over to federal prosecutors on Friday, according to a document filed Monday in federal court.
Barbara S. Jones, who is serving as special master in a review of documents seized from Cohen in an April 9 FBI raid, said in the court filing that the 12 recordings were provided to the government as part of its investigation into Cohen’s financial dealings.
“On July 20, 2018, the parties withdrew their designations of ‘privileged’ as to 12 audio items that were under consideration by the Special Master. Based upon those de-designations, the Special Master released the 12 items to the Government that day,” Jones wrote.
Jones, a former federal judge, is reviewing the hundreds of thousands of documents seized in the raids to see what can be released to the government and what is protected by attorney-client privilege.
Cohen recorded a conversation he had with President Donald Trump in 2016 about possible payments to a media company for a story about Karen McDougal, the Playboy playmate who claims to have had an affair with Trump in 2006, The New York Times reported Friday.
It is unclear whether the 11 other recordings are of conversations between Trump and Cohen.
Trump said on Twitter Saturday that Cohen’s recording of him was “totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.”
“The good news is that your favorite President did nothing wrong!” Trump wrote.
The FBI seized documents and recordings from Cohen’s home, hotel and Manhattan office in a series of raids on April 9. He is under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan over payments he made to women who allegedly had affairs with Trump.
Cohen made a $130,000 payment in October 2016 to Stormy Daniels, a porn star who claims she had a one-night stand with Trump in 2006.
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