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Old 04-09-2018, 02:10 PM  
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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

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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, 03:23 PM   #76
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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.
Read up on what is falls under the definition of campaign finance and the laws about what is consider something of value.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:23 PM   #77
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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.
Mueller is sinking his teeth into this. The State of NY is.

Mueller just tipped off NY and they've taken from there.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:24 PM   #78
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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.
This is not the state of New York. This is the FBI from an office in New York.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:26 PM   #79
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A White House official said Trump had been watching TV reports of the FBI raiding Cohen's office, and that Trump knew about the raid before the news broke.

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Old 04-09-2018, 03:26 PM   #80
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The payments to Ms. Clifford 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.


I wouldn't get tunnel vision on this.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:29 PM   #81
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You begin to see the transformation happening. They couldn't manufacture a connection to Putin, so now they're shifting gears to "Mob."

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Old 04-09-2018, 03:29 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by Donger View Post
A White House official said Trump had been watching TV reports of the FBI raiding Cohen's office, and that Trump knew about the raid before the news broke.

I would venture to say that if Trump knew about the raid, then there was nothing there to find of any significance.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:29 PM   #83
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This is not the state of New York. This is the FBI from an office in New York.
Then they will hand any prosecution off to the NY attorney general.. As, any crimes were committed in the state of NY. And removes Sessions, Trump ect from running any type of interference. And it will move much quicker.
And time is crucial. The midterms are almost here
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:30 PM   #84
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This should bump up the timeline on a military strike on Syria.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:30 PM   #85
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You begin to see the transformation happening. They couldn't manufacture a connection to Putin, so now they're shifting gears to "Mob."

It would warm my heart to see Session with a new pair of shoes.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:31 PM   #86
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I would venture to say that if Trump knew about the raid, then there was nothing there to find of any significance.
Yes, that's interesting, isn't it. I wonder how he knew.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:31 PM   #87
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A White House official said Trump had been watching TV reports of the FBI raiding Cohen's office, and that Trump knew about the raid before the news broke.


"We're about to close in on the evidence that Trump is doing business with the Mob through his lawyer. Somebody tell the president."
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:33 PM   #88
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You begin to see the transformation happening. They couldn't manufacture a connection to Putin, so now they're shifting gears to "Mob."
It must be nice to know what Mueller has found and what he hasn't.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:34 PM   #89
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Meanwhile, back in Europe, the Russian hoax nerve agent attack was actually just a bout of food poisoning, not a nerve agent after all.
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Old 04-09-2018, 03:34 PM   #90
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This is one of those cases of "where there's smoke, there are people smoking."

I've never seen a dead-end so dead in all my life. This is hilarious. Where do they think they're taking this? Some court is going to rule that there is no attorney client privilege? This is a dog and pony show. It's a maneuver to kick a legal can back and forth for the purposes of creating dramatic headlines.

And yet the Clintons are mass-murderers and run a child sex trafficking operation?
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