Secret tape may not add to legal jeopardy for Trump or Cohen

WASHINGTON (AP) — A secret recording of Donald Trump discussing payments to a Playboy model has brought renewed attention to the question of whether and how he might have blocked politically damaging stories ahead of the 2016 presidential election. But it’s not clear the tape by itself creates additional legal problems for the president.

The conversation between Trump and his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, took place after the National Enquirer’s parent company reached a deal to pay Karen McDougal for her story of an affair she says she had with Trump.

The recording captures Trump and Cohen discussing acquiring the rights to McDougal’s story.

At issue is whether the payment the men are discussing was campaign-related and intended to influence the election. If that’s the case, it would likely be counted as a contribution.

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