Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels, alleged in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday that Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, had recorded “inappropriate” conversations.
In the same interview, Avenatti also alleged Trump is among the people on the recordings.
Earlier on Wednesday, Avenatti dropped his request to participate in the court battle tied to the FBI raid of Cohen’s hotel and office after a federal judge said that in order to be admitted into the New York proceedings, he would need to “stop your publicity tour.”
Addressing the media, Avenatti then told reporters there had been “a shocking admission” in court, saying Cohen’s lawyer “admitted that there are audio recordings that Michael Cohen was taking for years.”
Avenatti is now calling for the public release of any recordings made by Cohen.
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When pressed by Tapper on why the American people should have access to Cohen’s private conversations, Avenatti said, “I know for a fact that one or more of these conversations do describe things that are inappropriate.”
“People are allowed to have conversations,” Avenatti said, “but they’re not allowed to tape or record those conversations unless they have permission, unless you’re in a single party state. A number of these recordings were made illegally, they should be disclosed now to the American people.”
Avenatti added that “our understanding is there are countless hours of recordings of conversations between Michael Cohen and others” and “the conversations include conversations with Mr. Trump.”\
Avenatti did not provide any evidence during the interview to support his claims that Cohen had broken the law. He also did not provide any evidence that the conversations describe things “that are inappropriate.”
CNN reported in April that Cohen frequently recorded phone conversations that were likely to have been swept up in the FBI raid, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Cohen’s attorney, Steve Ryan, did not immediately return a request for comment on Avenatti’s allegations.