Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Prosecutors say they have recordings of Trump and a witness in Manhattan DA case


Prosecutors in New York have informed Donald Trump’s lawyers that evidence in the hush money case against the former president includes an audio recording of him and a witness, a court filing made public Friday shows.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office made the disclosure this week in a filing called an automated discovery form and said the evidence had already been disclosed to Trump’s lawyers.

The filing does not identify the witness or say when the recording was made or whether Trump’s lawyers were made aware of it. NBC News has reached out to Trump’s attorneys and spokeswoman for response.

A key witness in the case, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, previously released a secretly taped audio recording of a discussion with Trump in 2016 about hush money payments. It is unclear whether the recording referenced in the court filing is the same one. ,

The filing is dated last Tuesday — the same day Trump was formally notified in Manhattan criminal court about a protective order regarding evidence his attorneys were receiving from the DA’s office. was barred from speaking in public.

Trump was charged last month with 34 counts of falsifying business records and has pleaded not guilty. The allegations include paying adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal money at the end of his 2016 presidential campaign to prevent them from speaking about allegations of their affairs with him.

Trump has denied having an affair with both women.

In a previously recorded conversation between Trump and Cohen in September 2016, the pair can be heard discussing the structure of the payment to McDougal. At one point, Trump asked “What financing?” and “pay cash?”

Cohen replies, “No, no, no, no, no, no, I got…” before Trump is heard saying the word “check”.

The filing states that several other recordings that do not directly involve Trump will also be turned over to his defense team, including phone conversations between two unnamed witnesses, “between a witness and a third party”. Contains dialogue and “various recordings saved on one”. Witness’s cell phone.”

Other evidence included anonymous statements from Cohen, Daniels, former US Attorney General William Barr, former Trump adviser and current son-in-law Jared Kushner, and several books on or related to former presidents, including five of Trump’s own books.

The matter is to be heard on March 25, 2024.