Federal Bureau of Investigation raids Trump lawyer's office, seizes porn star documents

Federal Bureau of Investigation raids Trump lawyer's office, seizes porn star documents

Trump had earlier claimed that the agents "broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys".

Cohen's lawyer, Stephen M. Ryan, said Monday that prosecutors seized communications between Cohen and his clients based in part on a referral by Mueller.

While Cohen told Lemon that Monday's raid on his home and office was "upsetting to say the least", he also did not blame the agents who participated in the search.

The search did not appear related to allegations of Russian election interference or possible coordination with the Trump campaign, the main focus of Mueller's probe.

Cohen is Trump's virtual vault - the keeper of his secrets, from his business deals to his personal affairs - and the executor of his wishes.

The fraud claims prompted speculation that he may have misled banks over the reason for the large payment, made shortly before the president won the 2016 USA election.

"He shot himself in the foot by saying he didn't know anything about the payment", one the people said.

But when the occasion warrants it, authorities have the ability to waive this provision.

Prosecutors from the Southern District came to the criminal division at the Justice Department in Washington to sign off on the warrants, as required by the US Attorney's Manual, according to the source, and Rosenstein was made aware of the warrants before they were executed Monday.

Cohen, who has worked with the Trump Organization for close to a decade, is now being sued by Daniels for defamation. Rosenstein then determines whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter elsewhere.

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A day later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his office and hotel room, casting a bright spotlight on the man widely regarded as Trump's fixer.

But because it was not about Russia, Mueller alerted Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"You can't get much worse than this, other than arresting someone's wife or putting pressure on a family member", he said. Legal pundits on TV have all said that Cohen could be pressured to testify against Trump in return for leniency on charges that are unrelated to his relationship to the president.

Monday's events renewed concerns that Trump could try to act against Mueller, who was appointed a year ago by the Justice Department to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion by Trump's campaign. Daniels said that she was initially pressured not to go public with her story in 2011, and in 2016, after attempting to speak out about the affair once more, was contacted by Cohen and paid $130,000 to stay silent - weeks before the 2016 presidential election.

Several former officials at the Federal Election Commission have said the payment could have violated campaign finance laws because it may amount to an unreported campaign donation.

The latest turn of events in a wide-ranging probe that Trump has called a "witch hunt" has moved investigators deeper into the president's inner circle of advisers and cast a pall of uncertainty over the White House. The Times said Cohen's connection to the tape was unclear.

The President's animosity towards Mueller reached its highest point yet on Tuesday, a person familiar with the President's thinking said. I would imagine that if the special counsel's office hadn't been interested in Trump-related accounts there already, word of the president's tantrum must have piqued some interest.

A spokesperson for the Trump Organization declined to confirm to The Journal that prosecutors had requested the Daniels documents. "And I thanked them at the conclusion", Cohen explained.

"DOJ goes through specific steps using a walled-off group of prosecutors to conduct an initial review so that the prosecutors handling the case are not "infected" by seeing attorney-client privileged materials", he said. Instead, FBI agents working for the USA attorney's office for the Southern District of NY carried out the operation after apparently getting a referral from Mueller.

We wonder: Will Cohen be fired next?