Donald Trump’s legal team has warned his former fixer Michael Cohen to stop speaking out and violating lawyer client confidentiality, the president’s attorney Rudy Giuliani told ABC News Saturday. The warning comes just six days days after the team waived lawyer client privilege concerning a recorded conversation between Cohen and his former boss about a former Playboy model.
“We have complained” to Cohen’s lawyers that “he’s violated the attorney-client privilege, publicly and privately,” Giuliani told the network. Giuliani said Cohen is in “grave danger of being disbarred.”
But Cohen’s attorney Lanny Davis told Huffpost in a statement that Giuliani “seems to be confused.”
He “expressly waived attorney client privilege last week and repeatedly and inaccurately — as proven by the tape — talked and talked about the recording, forfeiting all confidentiality,” Davis added.
The secretly recorded conversation, obtained by CNN, appears to involve a discussion between Cohen and Trump about buying the rights to a story by former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who has claimed she had an affair with Trump. Giuliani has insisted that the tape clears the president of any wrongdoing.
After the tape was released, sources told CNN that Cohen claimed Trump knew in advance about the Trump Tower meeting during his campaign involving Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked attorney who was to provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton. If that’s the case, it could have serious repercussions in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference in the election. Trump has denied knowing about the meeting ahead of time.
It may be this information that the legal team warned Cohen about, though Giuliani wasn’t clear in his ABC interview.
Giuliani also told ABC Saturday that Trump’s team has hired multiple experts to analyze the recordings of conversations between Cohen and Trump.
Giuliani has insisted that Trump told Cohen on the released tape “don’t pay with cash.” An expert used by CNN determined that Trump said “I’ll pay with cash.” Cohen also talks about apparently setting up some kind of shell operation to hide the payment.
In any case, both men appear to be agreeing to pay to suppress the story that was reportedly purchased for $150,000 by the The National Enquirer — but never published.
Giuliani said he’s aware of the subject matter of 13 Cohen tapes that have been seized by the government, but that only one affects the president. “There’s nothing on it that would concern us,” he said. The Washington Post reported that the FBI seized more than 100 recordings of Cohen conversations with a number of people.
Giuliani also noted, in case anyone suspected otherwise, that the joint defense agreement between Trump and Cohen is over.