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

White House fears feds may have obtained recordings involving Michael Cohen

White House fears feds may have obtained recordings involving Michael Cohen

Federal agents who raided the office of President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, were looking for information about payments to a former Playboy Playmate and a porn actress who claim to have had affairs with Trump, two people familiar with the investigation said.

The FBI initiated the Manhattan raid after Mueller, who is authorized to investigate matters related to Russian election meddling, referred information about Cohen to NY authorities.

"What they are trying to do is use attorney-client privilege as a sword to challenge the government's ability to review evidence" obtained lawfully, McKay added.

Asked if he was anxious, Cohen said: "I would be lying to you if I told that I am not".

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is aiding the FBI as investigators look into a $130,000 payment she received as part of a nondisclosure agreement from Cohen 10 years after the alleged sexual encounter, NBC News reported.

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Those people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the confidential details.

In other words, the Federal Bureau of Investigation wouldn't have executed the search warrant at Trump's lawyer's office unless they had good reason and probable cause of criminality, said former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. The raid itself was executed by the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, which is now led by Trump appointee Geoffrey Berman.

Michael Avenatti, a lawyer for Daniels, suggested at the hearing that his client might be the subject of some of the seized materials, and her interests needed protection as well.

Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department officials in Washington and NY have refused to discuss the case publicly, or say what crimes they are investigating.

Cohen has said neither the Trump Organization nor the Trump campaign was involved in the transaction with Daniels and he was not reimbursed for the payment. On Tuesday, he tweeted that "attorney-client privilege is dead!"

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President Donald Trump's personal attorney is trying to prevent the government from using materials it found in a search of his office and residence this week.

Federal agents reportedly seized documents from Cohen related to several issues, including his $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election.

And it's likely that Cohen's reported activities - involving payoffs to women, a Russia-favouring "peace plan" for Russian Federation and Ukraine, and a business deal sought for a Trump Tower in Moscow - were of interest to federal authorities.

A NY federal district court spokesman says there will be a hearing related to the search warrant executed this week for records belonging to President Donald Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Spokesman Jordan Prince said in an email late Thursday that a hearing is set for Friday morning. Trump has called the raids a "witch hunt" and "an attack on our country".

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The judge also heard from a new lawyer for Trump, Joanna Hendon, who said the president had "an acute interest" in the case.

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