Longtime Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen taped conversations with associates, The Washington Post reported Thursday, raising fears among allies the recordings were seized by FBI agents when they raided Cohen's offices Monday.
The Post cited "three people familiar with his practice," saying Cohen was "known to store the conversations using digital files and then replay them for colleagues."
"We heard he had some proclivity to make tapes," one Trump adviser told the newspaper. "Now we are wondering, who did he tape?"
"Did he store those someplace where they were actually seized?" asked the adviser, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "Did they find his recordings?"
However, "it is unknown whether Cohen taped conversations between himself" and President Donald Trump, the Post reported.
Cohen, a longtime confidant and Trump Organization lawyer for a decade, did not respond to requests for comment.
His attorney, Stephen Ryan, declined to comment to the Post, while a White House spokeswoman referred requests to Cohen and his lawyer.
Armed with a search warrant based in part on information provided by Russia special counsel Robert Mueller, FBI agents Monday raided Cohen's office, home, and a hotel room where he was temporarily staying.
They seized Cohen's computers and telephones, along with documents on various topics — including a $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
A furious Trump slammed the move as a "disgrace" and said the FBI "broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys."
He also blasted the raid on Twitter:
According to the Post, Cohen recorded business and political conversations — and "one associate" said President Trump knew of the attorney's practice because he would often play recordings Cohen had made of the president's conversations with key advisers.
"It was his standard practice to do it," the person told the Post.
Cohen taped his business calls in order to "use them later as leverage," another person said.
"He frequently noted that under New York law, only one party had to consent to the taping of a conversation," the Post disclosed.
Federal investigators, however, would not automatically get access to any tapes seized in the raids, according to the report.
They first are reviewed by a separate Justice Department team, possibly a federal judge.
"The review is designed to protect lawyer-client privilege and to be sure that the conversations turned over are within the terms of the search warrant," legal experts told the Post.
They also noted, though, the "privilege accorded to attorney-client communications does not apply if the conversation was conducted to further commission of a crime or fraud."
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