Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Has 12 Audio Recordings That Are Now in the Hands of Federal Prosecutors

President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen has at least 12 recordings that were seized by federal authorities and are now in the possession of prosecutors, according to a new court filing by the case's special master on Monday.

Special master Barbara S. Jones, who was named by the court to go through the materials authorities discovered while conducting raids of Cohen's office, residence and hotel room in April, wrote that Cohen's attorneys and prosecutors "withdrew their designations of 'privileged' as to 12 audio items that were under consideration."

Jones stated that the recordings were released to prosecutors on Friday, the same day The New York Times reported on Cohen secretly recording then-candidate Trump about a potential payment to a former Playboy model who claimed to have had an affair with the billionaire between 2006 and 2007.

At present, it is unclear if the other recordings are of Trump and Cohen, or of others.

But Cohen's lengthy business relationship with Trump, including serving as the New York real estate magnate's "fixer," has reportedly worried the president's attorneys over possible exposure.

Cohen's recent comments to the press about loyalty to his family and the country coming first have increased speculation that he could turn on Trump and agree to cooperate with federal prosecutors. Investigators are looking into not only his various business dealings but whether the payments Cohen helped arrange violated campaign finance laws as in-kind contributions intended to affect the election.

Cohen, along with California attorney Keith Davidson, helped arrange the $150,000 payment to Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal from American Media Inc. in August 2016. Roughly a month later, Cohen spoke to Trump about the payment. However, the president's new attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said the payment was never made.

The Trump campaign initially denied having any knowledge of the monies paid to McDougal after it was approached by The Wall Street Journal just days before the November 2016 election.

Earlier this year, Giuliani revealed that Trump had paid Cohen back the $130,000 used to pay former adult film actress Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about a sexual encounter she said she had with Trump in 2006. Davidson also served as Daniels's lawyer in the matter.

That revelation resulted in shockwaves, as the president had previously denied an encounter or knowledge of a payment to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford.

Legal experts told Newsweek on Friday that Cohen may have committed an ethics violation by recording his client, but due to New York's one-party consent rule, the recording was not illegal.

Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Has 12 Audio Recordings That Are Now in the Hands of Federal Prosecutors | U.S.