Prosecutors say they have a recording of Trump and a witness in Manhattan DA case
Prosecutors in New York have informed attorneys for Donald Trump that the evidence in their 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 in a filing this week called an automatic discovery form and said the evidence had already been disclosed to Trump’s attorneys.
The filing does not identify the witness or say when the recording was made or when Trump’s lawyers were made aware of it. NBC News has reached out to attorneys and a spokesperson for Trump for a response.
A key witness in the case, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, previously released a secretly taped audio recording of a discussion he had with Trump about the hush money payments in 2016. It’s unclear if the recording referred to in the court filing is the same one.
The filing is dated this past Tuesday — the same day Trump made a virtual appearance in Manhattan criminal court to be formally notified about a protective order barring him from speaking publicly about evidence his lawyers were slated to receive from the DA’s office.
Trump was charged last month with 34 counts of falsifying business records and has pleaded not guilty. The charges involve hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign to prevent them from speaking about their allegations of affairs with him.
Trump has denied having affairs with both women.
In the previously disclosed recorded September 2016 conversation between Trump and Cohen, the pair can be heard discussing how to structure payments to McDougal. At one point, Trump appears to ask “what financing?” and seems to ask “pay with cash?”
Cohen responds, “No, no, no, no, no, no, I got …” before Trump is heard saying the word “check.”
The filing said several other recordings that don’t directly include Trump will also be turned over to his defense team, including phone conversations between two unidentified witnesses, a phone conversation “between a witness and a third party” and “various recordings saved on a witness’s cell phones.”
Other evidence includes unidentified statements from numerous books on or involving the former president, including books by Cohen, Daniels, former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, former Trump adviser and current son-in-law Jared Kushner and five of Trump’s own books.
The case is scheduled to go to trial on March 25, 2024.