Michael Cohen testifies he secretly recorded Trump in lead-up to 2016 election

Former President Trump’s former attorney secretly recorded the president ahead of the 2016 election, according to Cohen’s witness testimony Monday. Cohen testified during Trump’s 16th day in court that he secretly recorded Trump on his iPhone on Sept. 6, 2016 – just weeks before the general election – regarding a payment to former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker. According to the testimony, Pecker had paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 to purchase her story that she had an affair with Trump and to subsequently quiet her claims ahead of the election. Pecker had pressed Cohen that Trump needed to pay him back, with Cohen secretly recording Trump on Sept. 6 of the election year as proof Trump planned to pay Pecker, according to the testimony. Cohen added that in addition to easing Pecker’s mind that he would be repaid, he also made the recording in order to keep Pecker “loyal” to Trump. TRUMP, DEFENDERS SHOW UP IN FORCE AHEAD OF COHEN TESTIMONYThe recording was played for the jury, which included Cohen telling Trump he needed to “open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,” referring to Pecker. MICHAEL COHEN’S CREDIBILITY ISSUES, BRAZEN TIKTOK USAGE RAISE MEDIA EYEBROWS AHEAD OF TESTIMONY “So what do we got to pay for this? One-fifty?” Trump is heard saying. Cohen argued in his testimony that Trump knew Pecker had purchased the rights to McDougal’s claims of an affair and agreed to pay $150,000. “He already knew based upon conversation with David, which is why he mentioned the number 150,” Cohen said. Cohen testified that he recorded the exchange while holding his iPhone while sitting across a desk from Trump. Trump was unaware he was being recorded at the time. MICHAEL COHEN EXPECTED TO TAKE THE STAND AS NY V. TRUMP TRIAL RESUMESThe case revolves around the alleged falsification of business records. Prosecutors say Cohen paid adult film actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 to quiet her claims of the alleged extramarital sexual encounter with Trump. Prosecutors allege the Trump Organization reimbursed Cohen and fraudulently logged the payments as legal expenses, and are working to prove that Trump falsified records with the intent to commit or conceal a second crime.Trump has pleaded not guilty in the case. Daniels took the stand last week, saying she met Trump in 2006 at Lake Tahoe during a celebrity golf tournament. She alleged that the pair had sex in Trump’s hotel room during the event, which Trump has repeatedly denied in public comments. Daniels also described to the court how she got into the pornography business after working as an exotic dancer as a teenager.Legal experts have sounded off that Daniels’ testimony was irrelevant to the case and that it should not have been admitted into the record. The Trump legal team twice motioned for a mistrial, but were denied by presiding Judge Juan Merchan. Republican Ohio Sen. JD Vance, who was seen attending court with Trump on Monday, responded to Cohen’s testimony on X, where he balked at Cohen admitting to secretly recording Trump. “Michael Cohen admitting he secretly recorded his employer. Just totally normal conduct, right? The best part is he said he did it only once and only for Trump’s benefit. A standup guy!” he posted.Vance, alongside fellow Republicans such as Sen. Tommy Tuberville, held a brief press conference Monday regarding the trial, where Vance continued in his condemnation of Cohen’s testimony. “This guy is a convict and felon who admitted in his testimony that he secretly recorded his former employer, that he only did it once, allegedly, and that this was supposed to help Donald Trump. Does any reasonable, sensible person believe anything that Michael Cohen says? I don’t think that they should,” Vance said.
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