President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, had secretly recorded a conversation with his client before the 2016 presidential election, in which they discussed the payment of money to a former Playboy magazine model who claimed to have had an affair. relationship with the tycoon.
According to the New York Times, citing lawyers and other sources familiar with the case, the FBI seized the recordings this year during a search by federal agents in Cohen's office.
Federal prosecutors in New York have launched an investigation into the lawyer on suspicion of involvement in bank fraud and tax evasion, as well as a possible breach of campaign finance law because he paid $ 130.000 to porn star Stormy.
As part of this investigation, the FBI seized documents and other material from Cohen's home and office.
The existence of this recording raises further questions about the tactics that Trump used in order to keep his personal life and business secret while claiming the top public office in the country.
Cohen's representatives and Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.
Giuliani told the newspaper that in the recorded conversation, Trump was discussing the payment of money with Cohen, but that in the end these payments were never made. The recording lasts less than two minutes and proves that the president did not do anything reprehensible. Former playmate Karen McDougall claims to have had an affair with Trump in 2006, shortly after the birth of his youngest son, Baron.
Trump denies having an affair with McDougall. In the last months of the 2016 election campaign, the former playmate sold her story to the scandalous The National Enquirer for $ 150.000, but the tabloid "buried" the issue.
Cohen's lawyer, Lanny Davis, declined to comment on the recorded conversation.
The newspaper, citing three sources who were informed about the case, writes that Cohen's lawyers discovered the tape while examining the confiscated material and then informed Trump's lawyers about its existence.
The American President responds via twitter saying that "your beloved President did nothing wrong".