We began the week with the news that Donald Trump‘s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen was raided by FBI agents.
We learned right away this was not part of the Mueller Probe but rather the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan had obtained a warrant after a tip from Mueller, who apparently came across evidence of crimes that had nothing to do with their mandate of investigating obstruction and collusion.
Over the next few hours and days we heard more about specifically investigators were looking for — we heard it related to Stormy Daniels, Karen McDougal, even the Access Hollywood tape!
Now, thanks to new court filings we have a better idea.
Cohen’s lawyers (and one of Trump’s) argued in Manhattan on Friday to block any use of evidence obtained as part of the searches of Cohen’s home, office, hotel room, safety deposit box, and cell phones.
In response (as much to Trump’s incessant attacks on Mueller as to the legal motion, really), prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office revealed he had actually been “under criminal investigation” for months:
“Although Cohen is an attorney, he also has several other business interests and sources of income. The searches are the result of a months-long investigation into Cohen and seek evidence of crimes, many of which have nothing to do with his work as an attorney, but rather relate to Cohen’s own business dealings.”
Looks like whatever Mueller found only bolstered their case.
Hilariously, prosecutors also slammed Cohen’s claims of attorney-client privilege. Why? They said Cohen had actually done “little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump.”
That’s right. See, Cohen was less of a lawyer to Trump and more of a “fixer.” He liked to refer to himself as Trump’s “Ray Donovan.”
And it turns out there’s no such thing as Donovan-client privilege.
Also, there are reports Cohen has told people Trump is his only client, which if true would mean he didn’t have privilege with any of his other communications or recordings either.
In any case, as previously reported, all seized materials are subject to review by a special “taint team” (make your own joke) to make sure they’re not protected.
Cohen has not yet been charged with any crimes, but at this point it’s a foregone conclusion. Sad!
[Image via Twitter.]