UPDATE 8:20 P.M. EST: The Washington Post is now reporting sources tell them Cohen is under federal investigation for “bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations.”
No more details yet, but NBC News says the heart of the search relates to the payment to Stormy Daniels — which could have led to all of those charges depending on where the hush money really came from.
Trump has now commented on the investigation, calling the raid “ridiculous” and “a whole new level of unfairness.”
When asked if he would now plan on firing Robert Mueller in response, he said:
“I think it’s a disgrace what’s going on. We’ll see what happens.”
On Monday, the FBI raided the office of Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.
According to the New York Times, federal prosecutors obtained a search warrant after receiving a tip from special counsel Robert Mueller.
The search does not appear to be directly related to Mueller’s investigation regarding possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
But of course if Mueller’s team happen to uncover crimes unrelated to their mandate, they’d have to report it to the proper authorities — which is apparently what happened in this case. Though what crimes is still unknown.
Cohen’s attorney Stephen Ryan confirmed the raid, saying:
“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 seized records cover a variety of topics, including his communications with Trump (some of which may be protected under attorney-client privilege) AND the hush money Cohen has already admitted paying to adult actress Stormy Daniels for not talking about her alleged 2006 Lake Tahoe sexual encounter with the now-President.
Ryan says his client has cooperated with authorities and has handed over thousands of documents, including emails, tax docs, and business records.
As we reported in March, Daniels sued Cohen for defamation. On Monday her attorney once again filed a motion to depose Trump and Cohen. We’ll have to see if this new information changes things…