Update: Trump attorney Cohen under investigation for possible bank fraud, campaign finance violations, person familiar with case says
Michael Cohen, the longtime attorney of Trump, is under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations, according to a person with knowledge of the case.
FBI agents on Monday raided Cohen’s Manhattan office, home and hotel room as part of the investigation, seizing records about Cohen’s clients, including those related to a 2016 payment he made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who claims to have had a sexual encounter with Trump.
Among the documents seized were privileged communications between Cohen and his clients — including those with Trump, according to a person familiar with the investigators’ work.
FBI agents took Cohen’s computer, phone and personal financial records as part of the search of his office at Rockefeller Center
Trump’s thug lawyer Micheal Cohen
FBI agents on Monday raided the Manhattan office of Trump’s private lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records about Cohen’s clients, including those related to a 2016 payment he made to adult-film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump.
Among the documents seized were privileged communications between Cohen and his clients — including those with Trump, according to a person familiar with the investigators’ work. Investigators took Cohen’s computer, phone, and personal financial records as part of the search of his office at Rockefeller Center, the person said.
The raid was first reported by The New York Times.
The raid is related to an investigation referred by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to federal prosecutors in New York, according to Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen.
Ryan called the tactics “inappropriate and unnecessary,” saying Cohen has “cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.”
Among the records seized by investigators were “protected attorney-client communications,” according to Ryan.
Dawn Dearden, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York, declined to comment. Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, declined to comment. A White House spokesman declined to comment.
Squire Patton Boggs, the law firm that formed a strategic alliance with Cohen last year, said in a statement Monday that its “arrangement with Mr. Cohen reached its conclusion, mutually and in accordance with the terms of the agreement.
“We have been in contact with federal authorities regarding their execution of a warrant relating to Mr. Cohen,” the firm said. “These activities do not relate to the firm and we are in full cooperation.”
Under Department of Justice regulations governing the special counsel’s work, Mueller is required to consult with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein if his team finds information worth investigating that does not fall under his mandate.
Rosenstein, as the acting attorney general supervising Mueller’s work, has the responsibility of deciding whether to expand Mueller’s mandate to include the new topic or to refer it to a U.S. attorney’s office.
Known for his combative style and fierce loyalty to Trump, Cohen served for a decade as a top lawyer at the Trump Organization, tangling with reporters and Trump’s business competitors on behalf of the celebrity real estate mogul.
He never formally joined Trump’s campaign but was in close contact with his longtime boss from his Trump Tower office throughout the 2016 race and presidential transition.
Cohen’s aggressive tactics came into public view when he acknowledged he facilitated a $130,000 payment in October 2016 to an adult-film actress who claimed to have had a sexual encounter with Trump.
Cohen left the Trump Organization in January 2017, around the time of Trump’s inauguration, and since then has served as a personal attorney to the president.
CNBC reports: FBI raids the office of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen
FBI agents raided the offices of Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, on Monday.
Agents reportedly seized evidence related to Cohen’s payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 presidential election.
Daniels has said the money was in exchange for her silence about her affair with Trump. The White House denies such an affair occurred.
The FBI on Monday raided the New York City offices of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, seizing an array of documents.
The raid came after federal prosecutors in New York City obtained a search warrant following a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, Cohen’s lawyer said.
Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and related issues, including possible collusion by officials in the Trump campaign with Russians.
NBC News reported that the raid occurred at a law office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, located in Midtown Manhattan. Vanity Fair additionally reported that FBI agents also visited a room at the Loews Regency Hotel in Manhattan, where Cohen has been staying and executed the warrants there.
The Times reported that FBI agents seized records relating to several issues, including a $130,000 payment that Cohen has said he made to porn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 presidential election.
Daniels has said that money was given to her in exchange for her agreement to keep quiet about an affair she had with Trump that began in 2006. The White House has denied that Trump had sex with Daniels.
Trump has said he was unaware of the deal Cohen made with her. Cohen is an executive vice president and general counsel of the Trump Organization, the company founded by the president, which is now being run by his adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.
F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen
Mr. Cohen is at the center of several aspects of the special counsel’s investigation. He also acknowledged paying $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford, who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump.
In addition to records related to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, FBI agents also seized emails, tax documents, and business records, according to the Times, which cited a person briefed on the search.
Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, said, “Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients. I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
“The decision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary,” Ryan said.
“It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney-client communications between a lawyer and his clients. These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath.”
Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment when asked about the raid by CNBC.
Spokesmen for the FBI’s New York field office and for Mueller did not immediately respond to CNBC’s requests for comment.