President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani says that federal investigators have 183 “unique conversations” recorded by Michael Cohen, the president’s former attorney and fixer. Mr. Trump is heard on one of those recordings, which has already been made public, Giuliani said on “Face the Nation” Sunday.
“We know of something like 183 unique conversations on tape. One of those is with the president of the United States. That’s the three-minute one involving the McDougal payment, AMI-McDougal payment,” Giuliani said, referring to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with the president. “There are 12 others, maybe 11 or 12 others out of the 183, in which the president is discussed at any length by Cohen, mostly with reporters.”
Giuliani said he doesn’t know the contents of the recordings that don’t include or mention Mr. Trump, but said federal prosecutors would have turned them over to him if they related to the president. Cohen is under investigation by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York over his business dealings. Federal investigators seized millions of records during a raid on his home and office in April, including recordings of conversations Cohen had made.
The recording between Cohen and Mr. Trump was aired by CNN last week. In the recording, which Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis released to the cable network, the two discuss a possible payment to AMI, the publishing company that purchased story rights from McDougal about the alleged affair. Giuliani has said Mr. Trump never made a payment to AMI.
© Credit: CBSNews screen-shot-2018-07-29-at-11-01-57-am.png
On Sunday, Giuliani argued that the recordings about Mr. Trump “clearly corroborate” the president’s position that he was not aware ahead of time about payments to McDougal or Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who received $150,000 from a company set up by Cohen in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair.
“These are tapes I want you to read, I want you to hear them. I didn’t think I’d be able to get them out publicly. And somehow, he and his lawyer have this crazy idea of just throw it all out there,” said Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor. “I think they also don’t realize it’s going to hurt them with the prosecutors. When I was a prosecutor, I didn’t want some guy giving out all the evidence to the press.”
Giuliani’s comments come amid news that Cohen is willing to tell investigators with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office that the president knew in advance of a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between his son, Donald Trump Jr., top campaign officials and a Russian lawyer. Cohen, however, has no evidence to offer that corroborates this claim.
Mr. Trump has denied ever knowing about his son’s meeting, suggesting in a tweet on Friday that Cohen “is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam.”
Giuliani maintains that there’s no evidence the president did anything wrong and that there is no “legal basis” for investigating the president for obstructing justice. He cited the president’s tweets as being helpful to Mr. Trump’s legal case, saying he has been able to lay out his defense for not granting an interview to Mueller’s team.
“He’s made it clear, he didn’t know about the meeting beforehand,” Giuliani said, calling Cohen “an instinctual liar.”
As for the president potentially sitting down with Mueller’s team, Giuliani says that the special counsel’s office has been “kind of tied up” with the Paul Manafort trial, but that negotiations with the team about a possible interview with the president are ongoing.
“We have an outstanding offer to them. They haven’t responded in about a week to 10 days. I don’t hold that against them I think they’ve got a lot going on like we do.”