12 audio files sent to prosecutors in Michael Cohen probe

12 audio files sent to prosecutors in Michael Cohen probe

A dozen audio recordings seized by the FBI from President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, were forwarded to federal prosecutors after lawyers dropped challenges on attorney-client privilege grounds, a former judge revealed Monday.

Avenatti said he ran into Cohen on Monday night, following which they had a very "productive" meeting, which could eventually become "critical" for prosecutors investigating whether or not Trump suppressed news stories by paying Daniels and McDougal.

"Based upon those de-designations, the special master released the 12 items to the government that day", Special Master Barbara Jones said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, CNN reports.

The special master process reviews the seized material only for questions of attorney-client privilege, not for relevance, meaning it is up to the prosecutors to determine whether the audio recordings are useful to any criminal case.

Last week, the news broke that Cohen had secretly recorded a conversation with Trump in 2016 in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Trump.

Cohen, Trump's longtime personal attorney, taped and stored conversations with his associates and has argued that the seized recordings and documents are protected under attorney-client privilege.

"The transaction that Michael is talking about on the tape never took place, but what's important is: If it did take place, the president said it has to be done correctly and it has to be done by check" to keep a proper record of it, Giuliani said. Thereafter, the tabloid prevented her claims from becoming public in a practice known as "catch and kill".

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It is unclear whether the 11 other recordings are of conversations between Trump and Cohen.

Appearing on ABC's "This Week", Avenatti said he can confirm there are multiple tapes Cohen made during his decade of work with Trump, in addition to the one that The New York Times revealed on Friday, in which then-candidate Trump talked about a payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.

Giuliani said the brief recording shows Trump did nothing wrong. "The President says he never had a relationship with McDougal".

Davis said "any attempt at spin can not change what is on the tape". Details of the tape have been confirmed by Fox News.

But Davis tweeted on Saturday that Trump and Giuliani's strategy in the matter was "flawed; just as is #Trump's false #Twitter statement made against" Cohen.

Referring to that raid, Trump called it "inconceivable that the government would break into a lawyer's office (early in the morning) - nearly unheard of". Cohen's recording was most likely legal, as NY is a one-party consent state - meaning that as long as one person involved in a conversation consents to the recording, it's legit.

The recording was first reported Friday by The New York Times.