After yesterday’s report that Michael Cohen had secretly recorded Donald Trump during a conversation regarding payments to Playboy model Karen McDougal, there have been more questions than answers, such as: What was said in this conversation? Was this conversation privileged? Who leaked the fact that a tape actually exists?
Fox explained how the tape actually was deemed ‘privileged’ by the special master of the case, whose job it was to sift through evidence, in an unbiased manner, pulling out material which would fall under attorney/client privilege laws.
“One person familiar with the situation told me this evening that this [the tape] was deemed privileged by the special master, but the President’s attorneys waived the privilege,”Fox explained.
Breaking: VF Source: Cohen Trump tape was deemed privileged by Special Master, privileged waved by Trump legal team. pic.twitter.com/wqQTJgc1Ww
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) July 21, 2018
There are a couple of reasons why the President’s attorneys may have decided to reveal this evidence via a leak to the New York Times. First, it may be because they want to distract from something else. Perhaps it’s the Trump/Putin Summit, or perhaps it’s news which they know will break very soon. Both Rachel Maddow and CNN host Chris Cuomo floated this theory out there.
The second possible reason they may have decided to waive this privilege is to get ahead of the narrative and do damage control, while diminishing Cohen’s value to prosecutors, and as Cohen’s people describe the leak, an effort to throw him ‘under the bus’.
Another interesting tidbit of information that Vanity Fair’s Fox told Maddow, was that the Trump camp, versus the Cohen camp, describe the tape in two different ways. In particular “the issue of who brought up paying for something with cash, versus who brought up paying for something with a check, is directly opposite”.
This comment is clearly referring to the alleged $150,000 payment to Karen Mcdougall to keep her affair with Mr. Trump a secret.
While, we will undoubtedly get a much clearer picture as things move forward, yesterday certainly was what appears to be the tip of a giant iceberg in the Cohen/Trump world.