It is a bit complicated. This is a tape of Trump and his lawyer Cohen talking about paying off a mistress. The conversation and payout may have been a jailing offense if it turns out to be a violation of campaign finance law. Also the tape clearly indicates that Trump lied in earlier statements about this situation.
There is an added twist, as pointed out by Rachel Maddow. It looks like these tapes were deemed as privileged information by the court’s special master, but Trump’s lawers waved that privilege. This appears to matter with respect do teals Cohen may or may not be making with prosecutors.
This is how that works. Cohen has the tapes. The special master looking at the evidence in the Cohen case determine that this is privileged (client-attorney) and cant’ be handed over to prosecutors. Cohen is now in the situation where he has an ace up his sleeve. He could pass the tape on to the prosecutors in return for something. But, since the tape has been released (or at least a transcript of it), he can no longer do that. Trump has outsmarted Cohen. Try not to think about that too hard.
Anyway, watch Maddow’s reporting and analysis including comments by Emily Jane Fox: Continue reading Lordy, there are tapes.