'Politically and Publicly Devastating': Former Federal Prosecutor Offers a Brilliant Theory About the Release of the Trump-Cohen Recording

Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor and MSNBC analyst, provided a compelling answer to one of the perplexing questions surrounding the release of a recording of President Donald Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen discussing a hush money payout to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.


MSNBC's Chris Hayes explained exactly why the release of the recording is so confusing on his show "All In" Wednesday night.

"I don't understand why the Trump folks waived privilege on this," Hayes said. "The Trump people kind of seemed anxious to have the tape out there so they could provide a story about it. I don't really understand what Michael Cohen is doing from a legal perspective. If I were engaged in negotiations about being a cooperating witness, this is not how I would go about it."

"On the privilege issue, the only thing that to me makes any sense is that the special master signaled to Trump and Cohen, and Trump in particular, that she was going to find that this recording falls under the crime-fraud exception to attorney-client privilege," Goldman told Hayes. "And rather than endure a finding like that —"

"— which would be catastrophic!" Hayes said, his eyes opening wide. The "crime-fraud" exception means that confidentiality between a lawyer and a client is not legally valid when used to cover up criminal activities that the lawyer is participating in.

"Which would be politically and publicly devastating, she gave them the opportunity to withdraw their privilege assertion," said Goldman.

"That makes sense to me!" replied Hayes — though both acknowledged that there's no decisive proof for the hypothesis.

Watch the clip below:

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