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Former Prosecutor: Raid on Cohen 'Dramatic and Extraordinary Move'

15 April 2018, 09:21 | Devin Moran

President Trump has never been in more trouble than right now

President Donald Trump right sitting next to Vice President Mike Pence left speaks in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington Monday

CBS News cameras captured President Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen walking in Manhattan Wednesday following Federal Bureau of Investigation raids on his homes and office earlier this week.

One final intriguing aspect of these events is the fact that the raid was conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY, not Special Counsel Bob Mueller's Office. They claim it's protected by attorney-client privilege.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is aiding the FBI as investigators look into a $130,000 payment she received as part of a nondisclosure agreement from Cohen 10 years after the alleged sexual encounter, NBC News reported.

But they provided new details on the investigation, which they said has been going on for months.

Federal prosecutors say in a court filing that the criminal probe that led them to raid the offices of Donald Trump's personal lawyer this week is focused on his "personal business dealings".

To obtain a search warrant like the one executed against Cohen, agents must convince a judge they have probable cause of criminal activity and believe they'll find evidence of wrongdoing in a search.

In the filing with a court in NY, prosecutors blacked out a section describing what crime they believe Trump attorney Michael Cohen has committed.

Cohen has said neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was involved in the transaction with Daniels and he was not reimbursed for the payment.




They also downplayed the scope of potential privilege, saying they had before Monday secretly searched multiple email accounts belonging to Cohen, and which they said indicated that Cohen "is in fact performing little to no legal work".

President Donald Trump's personal attorney is trying to prevent the government from using materials it found in a search of his office and residence this week.

Federal agents raided the office of Cohen, seizing records on topics including a $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

These could include claims by Stormy Daniels, the adult film star who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. He called Mueller's investigation "an attack on our country".

A federal prosecutors office said a hearing has been scheduled before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood for Friday morning to address Cohens request for a temporary restraining order related to the judicial warrant that authorized the search. As the New York Times noted, Cohen was seen as one of the most loyal members of Trump's inner circle, and the president spoke out angrily after learning of the raid, calling it a witch hunt.

A court spokesman reached by the AP did not elaborate further on the subject matter of the court proceeding.

Should the president's lawyer be charged with an offence, "that could provide substantial leverage for Mueller in trying to secure his co-operation in the Russian Federation probe", said Seth Abramson, an attorney and professor known for his popular, sometimes conspiratorial Twitter takedowns of the Trump administration.



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