Donald Trump’s associates are reportedly freaking out because his lawyer, Michael Cohen, may have inadvertently handed the FBI a gold mine of private business and political conversations he secretly recorded. In an amazing twist of fate, the recordings that Cohen attempted to use as leverage against Trump’s associates may have come back to haunt all of them, and I, for one, could not be more amused.
The Washington Post reports that, according to one source, it was Cohen’s “standard practice” to secretly record business calls. The source knows this because, apparently, Cohen, a beneficiary of New York’s one party consent laws, played the recordings for top Trump advisors. Two other sources said he recorded political conversations, too.
Though they don’t know where Cohen kept the recordings, Trump’s allies are worried that the FBI may have gathered them when they raided Cohen’s office earlier this week. Oops!
From the Post:
Cohen, who served for a decade as a lawyer at the Trump Organization and is a close confidant of Trump, was known to store the conversations using digital files and then replay them for colleagues, according to people who have interacted with him.
“We heard he had some proclivity to make tapes,” said one Trump adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation. “Now we are wondering, who did he tape? Did he store those someplace where they were actually seized? . . . Did they find his recordings?”
In the event that the FBI did obtain any of the recordings, however, they would by subject to review by the Justice Department and even a federal judge, who would make sure that the conversations were relevant to the search warrant and to protect attorney-client privilege for any non-criminal matters.
As this Nixonian tale unfolds, former Watergate prosecutor Nick Akerman confirmed to the Post that in any search for evidence, people being recorded discussing potential crimes they committed sure does help. “If you are looking for evidence, you can’t do any better than people talking on tape.” Thanks, Nick!