Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer Says There Are More Secret Tapes Between Trump and Michael Cohen

The recordings “are going to prove to be a big problem for the president,” Avenatti told ABC News.

Michael Avenatti, attorney for Stormy DanielsRichard Drew, File/AP

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In its April raid of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s offices, the FBI reportedly seized a recording of the president and his longtime lawyer discussing payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal in order to keep her quiet about an alleged affair. The discussion, which took place two months before the 2016 election, was first reported by the New York Times on Friday. 

Now, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for adult film star Stephanie Clifford, known as Stormy Daniels, is suggesting there are more recordings of incriminating conversations between Trump and Cohen. During a round table on ABC News on Sunday, he assured, “This is not the only tape. I can tell you that for a fact. There’s multiple tapes.”

The tapes are “going to prove to be a big problem for the president,” said Avenatti, who said he’d seen some of the tapes but did not disclose how he got access to them. “You know, that old adage, ‘You’ve lived by the sword, you die by the sword,’ is going to be true in this case, because the president knew that his attorney, Michael Cohen, had a predisposition toward taping conversations with people.”

Daniels and McDougal have similar stories. Both women allege affairs with the president in 2006, the same year that Melania Trump gave birth to their son, Barron. Just before the 2016 election, Cohen allegedly paid Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet. McDougal, meanwhile, says she sold her story to American Media, Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, for $150,000. AMI shelved the story. Both women came forward with their stories earlier this year.

Rudy Giuliani, one of the president’s lawyers, confirmed the conversation between Cohen and Trump about McDougal but claimed that the payment wasn’t ultimately made. “Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of [the AMI payment] in advance,” Giuliani told the Times, adding, “In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence.”

Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to criticize his former lawyer, saying recording conversations with a client is “totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.” (New York’s wiretapping laws permit recording such conversations as long as at least one party agrees.)

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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