FBI's Cohen Raid: Legal Experts Weigh In

Ad boycott continues, but Laura Ingraham is coming back

Shortly before the 2016 presidential election, Cohen paid $130,000 to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who has said she had a sexual relationship with Trump, in an effort to keep her from telling her tale.

In addition, any privileged communication between Cohen and Trump that the search produces will be turned over to what is sometimes called a "taint team" or a "clean team", Justice Department officials who will determine if it should stay privileged or if it falls under the "crime-fraud exception", which would mean Trump and Cohen cooperated to commit some kind of crime.

Cohen, who is under the microscope in multiple threads of investigations by NY state and federal prosecutors, resigned himself to the reality of the situation, admitting to CNN that he is anxious about what's next.

Frank Montoya, a former senior FBI official, said it was extremely rare for the bureau to get the authority to search a lawyer's office, let alone a residence.

'Attorney-client privilege is dead, ' USA president says.

The aggressive tactics by prosecutors drew the president's ire. "I am entirely confident that his decision-making is the result of thoughtful and careful consideration of every issue that comes before him". But what also most sticks in my craw is that federal law enforcement has consistently lied to the American people that Clinton's emails have been destroyed and can not be obtained. The warrants were obtained by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of NY.

The raids on Cohen's office and hotel room would have been executed only after agents had been given the green light from those at the highest levels of the Justice Department.

One person familiar with the probe said investigators have been gathering material on Cohen for weeks, including his bank records.

Several people briefed on the investigation told The New York Times that FBI agents were looking for information on Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who alleges she had an affair with Trump, as well as Stormy Daniels. Trump told reporters last week that he did not know about it.

Mueller, who is investigating the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 election, requested communication documents between Trump and his closest advisers, including Cohen, in March.

Oh, and Trump is all sorts of wired up, even more than usual.

That turned out to be true, but it wasn't the only hush money payment being investigated.

This letter is a bone of contention between Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen
This letter is a bone of contention between Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen

The New York Times first reported that the subpoena covered records related to both McDougal and Clifford, and the Wall Street Journal was first to report the Trump Organization subpoena.

The Cohen raids required high-level authorization within the Justice Department. Rosenstein then will determine whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter to another US attorney or another part of the Justice Department.

The raid was overseen by the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan and was based in part on a referral from special counsel Mueller, said Cohen's lawyer, Stephen Ryan.

While Mr. Rosenstein must sign off on all moves that Mr. Mueller makes, that is not necessarily the case for searches - like this one - that are carried out by other federal law enforcement offices.

The No. 2 Republican in the Senate, John Cornyn of Texas, says he's confident President Donald Trump won't fire special counsel Robert Mueller. "These activities do not relate to the firm and we are in full cooperation".

Just five days ago, Trump broke his public silence on Daniels, saying he did not know anything about Cohen's payment to her.

Vice President Mike Pence will represent the United States in Lima instead, his aide Jarrod Agen said, adding that he would also meet Venezuelan dissidents.

The Daily Beast published the story, prompting Trump's campaign to say Cohen "is not affiliated with the campaign".

Trump could have violated federal election laws if he in any way coordinated or had knowledge of the payment. He rejected the idea that the payment should have counted as a campaign contribution.

In short, a whole bunch of officials had to sign off on this request, and the fact that they did so suggests that Mueller was able to show clear evidence that Cohen had committed a crime. "I am pleased to appoint him to this important role".

Asked if he'd seek to fire Mueller, which would require going through Rosenstein, Trump appeared to leave the door open.

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