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FBI Investigating Trump Lawyer's "Business Dealings" After Raid

FBI Investigating Trump Lawyer's

FBI and Justice Department officials in Washington and NY have refused to discuss the case publicly or say what crimes they are investigating, but people familiar with the investigation have told The Associated Press the search warrant used in the raids sought bank records, business records on Cohens dealing in the taxi industry, Cohens communications with the Trump campaign and information on payments made to a former Playboy model and a porn actress who say they had affairs with Trump.

The Associated Press reported that the raid was also to search for information about a $150,000 payment by the National Enquirer to Playboy model Karen McDougal, who alleges an affair with Trump, which he denies took place.

The judge also heard from a new lawyer for Trump, Joanna Hendon, who said the president had "an acute interest" in the case.

The FBI confiscated Cohen's emails, tax documents and business letters, as well as the communication between Cohen's clients, including Trump. Cohen has steadfastly denied wrongdoing in his $130,000 payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and has publicly defended Trump, but he has confided in associates that he is fearful of being a fall guy, according to a person familiar with his thinking but not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions.

Attorney-client privilege allows clients to discuss their legal troubles with lawyers, protecting them from being incriminated by said correspondence.

Besides Cohen's office, agents also searched a hotel room where he's been staying while his home is under renovation.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders equated the effect of the investigation and Russia's support for Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

More news: Instagram to let users download all their uploaded data

Trump's language points to another vexing issue that has erupted from the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on Cohen's hotel room, which is that it places a target on Mueller's back.

Attorney Michael Avenatti who is fighting the case of Story Daniels against President Trump and his personal counsel Michael Cohen, tweeted a link about another motion that he recently filed requesting an expedited judicial trial for the case.

Justice Department guidelines say only Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller last May, has the authority to fire him and only for specific cause.

While the search was overseen by the United States attorney's office in the Southern District of NY, the lawyers regard it as a direct extension of Mueller's investigation.

Under Justice Department regulations, only Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, can fire Mueller. His attorney, Stephen Ryan, declined to comment. Critics have said any Trump effort to remove Mueller would amount to interference in the investigation.

Cohen wants Wood to let them or a "special master" review the seized materials to decide what can be turned over, without violating the right of his clients to shield communications with their lawyers. He said he paid Daniels with money he had borrowed from a bank as part of a home equity line of credit. Prosecutors may also attempt to use Mr. Cohen's growing legal woes as leverage to turn him into a co-operating witness against Mr. Trump.

If there's anybody who knows a lot about Trump's legal and business orbit, it's his personal lawyer, known for acting more in the capacity as a fixer, dealmaker and media attack dog for Trump than as legal counsel. Asked about Trump's threats to fire Mueller, Ryan said he had been reassured by the White House that there were no such plans.


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