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Jurors in the trial related to Trump’s hush money hear a recording of a crucial call discussing the plan to purchase the affair story

Trump opposes potential ban (Via Aaron Johnson/Getty Images)

Jurors in Donald Trump’s trial for hush money heard a recording on Thursday where he discussed with his former lawyer and fixer a plan to buy the silence of a Playboy model who claimed they had an affair.

Trump, visibly annoyed, leaned forward as prosecutors played the September 2016 recording made by Michael Cohen, where he briefed Trump on the strategy to purchase Karen McDougal’s story about their alleged extramarital relationship.

While the recording had surfaced years ago, it is one of the most vivid pieces of evidence linking Trump to the hush money payments central to his trial in Manhattan. This followed extensive testimony from a lawyer involved in negotiating McDougal’s silence, who admitted surprise that his efforts may have contributed to Trump’s election victory.

Donal Trumps arrive at the conference (Via Mark White/Shutterstock)

“What have we done?” texted attorney Keith Davidson to the National Enquirer’s editor, who had suppressed stories of Trump’s encounters to avoid them surfacing during the presidential race. “Oh my god,” replied Dylan Howard.

Davidson testified that there was an understanding that their actions might have assisted Trump’s campaign, though he clarified he communicated primarily with Cohen, not Trump directly.

Davidson’s testimony aimed to directly tie the hush money payments to Trump’s presidential ambitions, reinforcing prosecutors’ argument that the case is about influencing the 2016 election, beyond mere issues of sex and money. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg seeks to establish this connection not just for conviction but also to highlight the case’s importance, possibly the only one of four Trump trials to go to trial this year.

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