Incriminating Trump-Cohen Recording Played in Court

( – Prosecutors in former president Donald Trump’s New York fraud trial have landed a blow, with an audio tape of Trump talking to his then-attorney Michael Cohen. In May 2023, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office advised Trump’s lawyers it would introduce the 2016 recording during his trial.

Cohen, who worked as Trump’s “fixer” at the time, can be heard discussing a deal to suppress stories about his client. The recording doesn’t refer to the alleged payments to porn star Stormy Daniels that lie at the center of the case –- but it does show him discussing a scheme to set up a fake company to make payments.

Tape Shows Payment Plot

Trump is currently on trial on 34 counts of falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 hush money payment to Daniels, who was claiming to have had a romantic affair with Trump in 2006. Allegedly, when she started telling that story during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump diverted money from his legitimate businesses to buy her silence and did so by manipulating business records to hide the payment.

On May 2, prosecutors played the court a recording linked to another payment, this time to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who also claims to have had a romantic relationship with Trump.

This time David Pecker, who at the time was the publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer, bought the story –- but not to publish it. Cohen claims he had an agreement with Pecker and Trump that the journalist would buy, then suppress, negative stories about Trump. In this case, Pecker bought the story from McDougal for $150,000. Cohen then tried to buy it from Pecker, although, in the end, Pecker didn’t get his money and kept the rights to the story.

The recording, secretly taped by Cohen during Trump’s 2016 campaign, features Cohen explaining that he needed to set up a front company “for the transfer of all that info regarding our friend, David,” probably so the payment to Pecker could be funneled through that company. Trump replies by asking, “What do we got to pay for this, 150?”

The significance of the recording is that it shows Trump knew Cohen was setting up a company to handle the deal with Pecker –- but the paperwork establishing that company said it would be used to collect real estate investment fees.

In other words, the documents contained false information. While the tape doesn’t prove Trump knew Cohen was going to write a fake business purpose in the paperwork, it does link him to an undeniable crime. It doesn’t show he was a co-conspirator in that crime, but the jury is likely to conclude he knew what Cohen was doing.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

Copyright 2024,