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Old 04-09-2018, 02:10 PM  
Fire Me Boy! Fire Me Boy! is offline
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NYT: FBI raids office of Trump's longtime lawyer Michael Cohen

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/09/u...ael-cohen.html

Updated.

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The F.B.I. raided the office and hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, on Monday, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several topics, including payments to a pornographic film actress.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Mr. Cohen for possible bank fraud, and the documents identified in the warrant date back years, according to a person briefed on the search.

The prosecutors obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but most likely resulted from information that he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.

“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,” said Stephen Ryan, his lawyer. “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.”

Mr. Trump reacted angrily to the raid. “It’s a disgraceful situation,” he told reporters at the White House before a meeting with military leaders. He added, “I have this witch hunt constantly going on.”

The payments to the pornographic film actress, Stephanie Clifford, who is known as Stormy Daniels, are only one of many topics being investigated, according to a person briefed on the search. The F.B.I. also seized emails, tax documents and business records, the person said. Agents raided space Mr. Cohen uses in the Rockefeller Center office of the law firm Squire Patton Boggs, as well as a room Mr. Cohen is staying at the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue while his apartment is under renovation, the person said.

In order to obtain a search warrant, prosecutors must convince a federal judge that agents are likely to discover evidence of criminal activity.

The searches are a significant intrusion by prosecutors into the dealings of one of Mr. Trump’s closest confidants, and they pose a dilemma for Mr. Trump. He has dismissed Mr. Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” but these warrants were obtained by an unrelated group of prosecutors. The searches required prior consultation with senior members of Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department.

The searches open a new front for the Justice Department in its scrutiny of Mr. Trump and his associates: His longtime lawyer is being investigated in Manhattan; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is facing scrutiny by prosecutors in Brooklyn; his campaign chairman is under indictment; his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying; and a pair of former campaign aides are cooperating with Mr. Mueller. Mr. Mueller, meanwhile, wants to interview Mr. Trump about possible obstruction of justice.

It is not clear what Mr. Mueller saw that made him refer the matter to other prosecutors. But the searches show that Mr. Mueller does not believe he has the authority to investigate all manners of allegations of everyone in Mr. Trump’s orbit. That is significant because Mr. Manafort’s lawyers have challenged Mr. Mueller’s mandate as overly broad.

Mr. Cohen is a longtime lawyer and fixer who, in a decade at Mr. Trump’s side, has served as a reliable attack dog against real or perceived threats to Mr. Trump. His activities have been scrutinized as part of Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Cohen recently paid $130,000 to Ms. Clifford, who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. Ms. Clifford has said that she was paid before the 2016 election to buy her silence. She is challenging a nondisclosure agreement she signed barring her from discussing the matter.

The search is an aggressive move for the Justice Department, which normally relies on grand jury subpoenas to obtain records from people who are represented by lawyers and are cooperating with authorities. Search warrants are more often used in cases in which prosecutors do not trust people to preserve or turn over the records themselves. Justice Department rules require prosecutors to first consider less intrusive alternatives before seeking records from lawyers.

The searches of Mr. Cohen’s documents harken to the pre-dawn F.B.I. raid of the home of Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Those documents helped underpin Mr. Manafort’s indictment last fall on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges.

Mr. Ryan said Mr. Cohen has cooperated with authorities and turned over thousands of documents to congressional investigators looking into Russian election meddling.

The seized records include communications between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, which would likely require a special team of agents to review because conversations between lawyers and clients are protected from scrutiny in most instances.

Though Mr. Mueller’s team did not initiate the search, if prosecutors in Manhattan uncover information related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation they can share that information with Mr. Mueller’s team.

A Long Island native, Mr. Cohen began his career as a personal injury lawyer and taxi fleet manager. He joined the Trump Organization in 2006. He attracted attention in the Russia investigation after emails showed that a business associate of Mr. Trump, Felix Sater, pitched Mr. Cohen on a lucrative real estate deal in Russia.

The deal was supposed to be a Trump Tower in Moscow and Mr. Sater boasted to Mr. Cohen that the tower would get Mr. Trump elected president. “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote. “I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.” But the emails obtained by The New York Times show no response from Mr. Cohen, who told congressional investigators that he regarded Mr. Sater’s talk as puffery.

It is not clear how significant prosecutors view the payment to Ms. Clifford. Mr. Trump has denied knowing about the payment. And Mr. Cohen has said he paid Ms. Clifford out of his own money. Asked last week why Mr. Cohen made the payment, Mr. Trump replied: “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney, and you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.”

Last edited by Fire Me Boy!; 04-09-2018 at 04:49 PM.. Reason: Updating OP
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:12 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Pogue View Post
I thought we were looking for collusion with russia? Now Mueller is looking into the Stormy garbage?

This whole investigation is a fraud.
The word collusion isn't mentioned in Mueller's appointment letter.

These words are, however: any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:12 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
I really hope this is what Mueller tries to sink his teeth into. If they went in for Russia collusion and come out with hush money for a prostitute, they'll destroy themselves. This investigation and especially the coverage of it is a clown show.
This is completely the opposite of what's going on: Muller isn't leading the Stormy payoff angle, this is the state of NY acting on his referral.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:12 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by RodeoPants2 View Post
22 indictments and 4 convictions later...
How many have to do with the actual campaign?
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:12 PM   #64
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I bet George Soros is behind this fake news...
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:13 PM   #65
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Has Stormy ever been to Russia?

Witch hunt confirmed. Time to boot little Robby Muel.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:13 PM   #66
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Interesting to see what they're keeping out of the news with this silly garbage. Zuck under fire. Theresa May's russian tin foil conspiracy theory falling apart. Israel bombing Syria. All wiped off front pages with this convenient "go nowhere" story. Got to hand it to the war mongers - they've got this place on dial. Trump has his hands full.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:14 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco John View Post
I really hope this is what Mueller tries to sink his teeth into. If they went in for Russia collusion and come out with hush money for a prostitute, they'll destroy themselves. This investigation and especially the coverage of it is a clown show.
Sounds like Mueller was fine handing this off to the FBI, no?
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:15 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
The word collusion isn't mentioned in Mueller's appointment letter.

These words are, however: any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation
Essentially Mueller can investigate anything.

At this point, it isnít even about Russia. Thatís fizzled and bombed.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:17 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue View Post
Essentially Mueller can investigate anything.
I wouldn't say that. Mueller essentially works for Rosenstein and he can stop Mueller if he thinks it's required, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue View Post
At this point, it isn’t even about Russia. That’s fizzled and bombed.
Oh, you're stating that again?
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:18 PM   #70
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Because his payment to Stormy Daniels was almost certainly illegal.
Link to showing how it was illegal?
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:18 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue View Post
Essentially Mueller can investigate anything.

At this point, it isnít even about Russia. Thatís fizzled and bombed.
Yes, it's a untimed witch hunt. This is why it'll be a great day for America is Sessions falls into a running wood chipper. Not only he he too small a man to start the process of ending this witch hunt (that he's recused from), but he's too much of a coward to start an equal investigation into the Obama administration, to include Mueller.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:18 PM   #72
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He didn't disclose the payment to the FEC so what he did was illegal anyways. The fact that he used the Trump organization email just makes it look worse from an optics perspective.
Why in the world would they have to disclose a payment to shut up a porn star to the FEC? It has nothing to do with campaign donations.

I agree using the trump org email was dumb.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:19 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue View Post
Essentially Mueller can investigate anything.

At this point, it isnít even about Russia. Thatís fizzled and bombed.
Link? Proof? Evidence?
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:22 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by chiefforlife View Post
Why in the world would they have to disclose a payment to shut up a porn star to the FEC? It has nothing to do with campaign donations.

I agree using the trump org email was dumb.
Have you not been following the story at all? It's quite clear. Trump's lawyer bought the silence of Stormy Daniels to protect the Trump campaign. That is viewed legally as a campaign contribution and therefore has to be reported as such.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:22 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefforlife View Post
Ok but...

If President Trumps attorney, in an attempt to protect his client, paid off some skank to keep quiet. How in the heck do we stretch that into a campaign violation.
The only way I could see is if Mr. Cohen used campaign money to pay said skank off. The FBI could easily subpoena the financial records to see if campaign money was used.
Again, this is disturbing how far the FBI is going chasing a supposed campaign violation.
It is unlikely that this was done because of Stormy Daniels. Mueller likely uncovered evidence of a crime involving Cohen that fell outside the jurisdiction of his probe, he gave it to Rosenstein, who then decided that a fresh team unrelated to Mueller's investigation should handle it.

That team was then able to convince a judge that not only would the crime/fraud exception to the attorney client privilege apply in this case, but that the chance that evidence would be destroyed was high enough to send an FBI raid instead of a subpoena. When you start to wonder just what this could be that could plausibly involve Cohen and Trump but would not be relevant to Mueller, then you begin thinking of mob shit.
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