Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Trump's Lawyer May Have Stored 'Gold Mine' Of Recorded Conversations

Trump's Lawyer May Have Stored 'Gold Mine' Of Recorded Conversations

Critics have said any Trump effort to remove Mueller would amount to interference in the investigation. Cohen said he paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence about her claim to have had a one-night-stand with Trump.

But the president's ire has been directed at Mueller and his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Under Justice Department regulations, only Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, can fire Mueller. Legal ethics rules bar attorneys from settling a claim without their clients' knowledge or using their own money to fund settlements.

The FBI raided Cohen's offices, home and hotel room earlier this week, taking his computers and phones and seizing documents related to a payment he said he'd made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan ordered Cohen to appear in court on Monday afternoon, after holding three hearings on Friday into his request for a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking prosecutors from reviewing seized materials.

"I'm not trying to delay anything but nor do I see a particular rush", Hendon said.

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McKay said Trump's ability to invoke the privilege is "no different" from anyone else's.

Both McDougal and Clifford signed non-disclosure agreements just before Trump's election in 2016, with Daniels taking US$130,000 from Cohen and McDougal accepting US$150,000 from American Media Inc, the owner of the National Enquirer. The White House has consistently said Trump denies the affair.

That's according to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said Tuesday that Trump "certainly believes that he has the power" to fire Mueller.

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer who represents Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, declined to say Tuesday whether his client had been contacted by the Justice Department or the FBI in connection with the Cohen investigation.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan made the filing after lawyers for Cohen and Trump asked a judge on Friday to block investigators from reviewing material the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized in a search of Cohen's office and residence on Monday.

On Capitol Hill, a bipartisan group of four senators moved to protect Mueller's job.

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This was not a "break-in", as Trump charged during that arms-crossed photo op where he complained about a witch hunt. "The less the president said on this whole thing, the better off he would be, the stronger his presidency would be".

Trump's administration has set records for turnover in his 15 months in office at all levels, with Bossert marking at least the 13th official who held the rank of assistant to the president at the start of the administration to depart.

The search warrant carried out by the public corruption unit of the New York City federal attorney's office seeks information about Karen McDougal, an ex-Playboy model who claims she carried on a almost yearlong affair with Trump shortly after the birth of his son in 2006.

The raid infuriated the president, who said publicly it was a "disgrace" that the Federal Bureau of Investigation "broke into" his lawyer's office.

Rod Rosenstein, the veteran Republican prosecutor hand-picked by Trump to serve as deputy attorney general, personally signed off on Monday's Federal Bureau of Investigation decision to raid the office of Cohen, Trump's personal attorney and longtime confidant, several government officials said.

The raid creates a new legal headache for Trump as he and his attorneys weigh whether to agree to an interview with Mueller's team.

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