Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Trump lawyer's office: What you need to know
- Author: Joey Payne Apr 11, 2018,
Apr 11, 2018, 6:00
"I would be lying to you if I told you that I am not", he said.
Resuming his attack yesterday, the President lamented in two brief Twitter messages that "attorney-client privilege is dead" and denounced a "total witch hunt". "Going in and seizing a lawyer's computer [poses] a lot of danger to the government because there is, built into that process, the invasion of the attorney-client privilege", Hall continued.
Federal Bureau of Investigation agents had instigated a raid on Cohen's office, his home residence, and the Loews Regency hotel room where he had been staying, based on a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is now investigating the Trump campaign over allegations that it colluded with Russian officials to win the 2016 election. While the reporting isn't crystal clear at this point, most agree this was a referral from the special counsel's office to the Southern District.
Cohen has been an ardent defender in Trump's business, personal, and political affairs for more than a decade.
However, in a Off Camera meeting with CNN Tuesday, " Cohen explained: "I am unhappy to own my own personal house and office raided. Here are some of the reasons why.
Authorities working with Mueller chose a similar tactic last summer when they raided the Virginia home of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who was subsequently indicted. The Cohen raid shows that Mueller's investigation has moved far beyond the question of to what extent the Trump campaign did or did not collude with Russian Federation in 2016. He refiled a motion in federal court in Los Angeles Sunday, seeking a jury trial and to depose Trump and Cohen. Trump repeated when a reporter asked. Cohen is one of the key links between Trump and Russian Federation.
Cohen, however, said the experience was "upsetting to say the least" and admitted he was anxious about the investigation.
Federal agents also sought records on ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal, who received $150,000 from the parent company of The National Enquirer, the Wall Street Journal reported. That doesn't mean convictions are guaranteed, but it suggests that Michael Cohen at least, and probably his client as well, are in some extremely hot water.
Asked about the Daniels controversy last week, Trump said he did not know about the payment and declined to comment further, instead referring questions to Cohen.
Avenatti's representation of Daniels is not the trial lawyer's first time in the media glare. The searches are a significant intrusion by prosecutors into the dealings of one of Mr Trump's closest confidants. The U.S. attorney's office had no comment.
Meanwhile, Trump has again raised the possibility of firing Mueller.
Before approving a warrant, a judge would have to be persuaded that the lawyer not only has information relevant to the investigation, but that the attorney was an active participant in a crime or was used by his client to commit a crime. "Many people have said [I] should fire him".
Avenatti is suing President Trump and demanding that his client be released from an NDA she signed which prevents her from discussing a relationship she says she had with Trump in 2006.
And all this is happening before we even know what the investigators will find in Cohen's files.
Getting a warrant approved is not easy, said Donald K. Stern, a former U.S. attorney in MA who is now managing director of Affiliated Monitors in Boston, which provides ethics and compliance advice to companies.