In addition to providing more evidence that Trump knew about the Enquirer’s dealings with McDougal, which his campaign denied just before the election, it implicates other Trump Organization executives in schemes that could possibly have violated campaign-finance laws.
.. None of this hinges on the issue that Lanny Davis and Rudy Giuliani .. whether Trump was captured saying, to Cohen, “pay with cash” or “don’t pay with cash.”
.. Federal prosecutors would surely be interested in obtaining an insider’s account of the Enquirer scheme, even if it wasn’t consummated.
.. Cohen could conceivably cut a deal with the Southern District, in which he would provide information that could also be shared with other federal prosecutors, including Robert Mueller, the special counsel.
.. Davis said to NBC News that the content of the Cohen-Trump tape “sounds like a John Edwards case.”
.. the fact that Davis is now drawing a parallel will surely set off alarm bells in the White House.
.. The other bad news for Trump is that Cohen, in making arrangements to pay off the Enquirer, doesn’t appear to have been working alone. “I need to open up a company for the transfer of all of that info regarding our friend David,”
.. “And I’ve spoken to Allen Weisselberg about how to set the whole thing up with . . . funding.”
Weisselberg is the longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization.
.. If what Cohen said is accurate, he appears to have discussed with Weisselberg a way to route the proposed payment to A.M.I. through a shell company set up specifically for the purpose, which is what he did in making the payment to Daniels.
.. the tape does drag Weisselberg and the Trump Organization further into the murk, which can’t be good news for the President. “Weisselberg has detailed information about the Trump Organization’s operations, business deals and finances,”
.. “If he winds up in investigators’ crosshairs for secreting payoffs, he could potentially provide much more damaging information to prosecutors than Cohen ever could about the president’s dealmaking.”