DOJ: Michael Cohen 'under criminal investigation'

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Michael Cohen

  • The revelation comes amid a courtroom drama that unfolded Friday, as Cohen's attorneys and Trump's attorneys began a fight hours before with the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan over a massive raid of Cohen's records.
    Cohen's attorneys have filed a temporary restraining order in the matter, asking the court to stop federal prosecutors from using some of the records they seized. Cohen did not appear in court Friday morning and has not been charged with a crime.
    In response to Cohen's motion to prevent prosecutors from using evidence collected in Monday's raids of his home and office, the US attorney in New York asserted the raids were authorized by a federal judge to seek evidence of conduct "for which Cohen is under criminal investigation."
    A court filing did not detail what Cohen is under investigation for.
    But the filing contains the first details released by the Justice Department on the searches, which covered Cohen's residence, hotel room, office, safety deposit boxes and two cell phones. Previous search warrants allowed New York federal prosecutors to search multiple email accounts, the filing said. In them, they found that Cohen had done "little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump."
    The prosecutors assert that they have confidence that any seized material would not fall under the significant amount of attorney-client privilege that Cohen has claimed. They said Cohen has told at least one witness that his only client was Trump.
    The prosecutors noted Cohen had personally not turned over any documents to Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation. Initially, Mueller had requested some records from Cohen while he was with the Trump family company — a position he held for about a decade — yet dropped the request after Cohen pushed back. Mueller's office referred the case about his business dealings to New York but hasn't been involved since, the Manhattan prosecutors said.
    Monday's raids included a search for communications related to efforts to suppress negative information ahead of the election, including communications that Trump had with Cohen regarding the infamous "Access Hollywood" tape that captured Trump making lewd remarks about women that surfaced a month before the election.
    It also potentially involved records related to porn star Stormy Daniels, who was paid $130,000 weeks before the election to silence an alleged affair she had with Trump.

Source : IWN Online Editor

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