Among the documents seized during an FBI raid targeting President Donald Trump’s personal attorney are recordings of conversations Michael Cohen had with the former lawyer to two women who claim to have had affairs with Trump, according to a CNN report.
The FBI raided Cohen’s New York office and hotel room on Monday seeking, among a number of things, information regarding the role he may have had in attempting to suppress information about the alleged affairs. Agents seized Cohen’s computers and phones, as well as documents related to a payment of $130,000 he said he made to former adult film actress Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
A source familiar with the matter told CNN on Friday that the FBI had also seized recordings Cohen made of his communications with Keith Davidson, who had represented both Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
“Attorney Davidson never consented to any recordings of his conversations with Mr. Cohen,” a spokesman for Davidson told CNN. “If they in fact do exist, Attorney Davidson will pursue all his legal rights under the law.” It is illegal in some states ― including California, where Davidson is based ― to record phone conversations without both parties’ consent.
Cohen is known to tape conversations with associates and store them, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Experts described the recordings to the Post as a potential “gold mine” for the FBI, saying that if they exist and are admissible in court, they could prove valuable to prosecutors.
Trump expressed outrage after the FBI raid, calling it a “disgraceful situation” and a “total witch hunt” during off-the-cuff remarks to reporters. On Tuesday, he tweeted that “attorney-client privilege is dead!”
Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who currently represents Daniels, responded to the CNN report in a tweet on Friday.
Both Daniels and McDougal were reportedly paid large sums of money to keep their stories about the alleged 2006 affairs with Trump quiet. The women are now pursuing litigation in order to be released from their agreements.
Trump reportedly called Cohen on Friday to “check in,” The New York Times said Friday, citing two people briefed on the call. The call could prove to be problematic depending on what the two discussed, given that Cohen is currently under criminal investigation.