The FBI has allegedly raided the office of Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, seizing records related to the $130,000 payment he made to porn star Stormy Daniels days before the election, according to The New York Times.
A White House official tells CNN that Trump, with whom Daniels alleges a sexual relationship that the payment was meant to cover up, had been watching TV reports of the FBI raid and knew about it before the news broke.
Also among the documents seized were privileged communications between Cohen and his clients, including those with Trump, a person familiar with the investigators’ work tells The Washington Post. Cohen’s computer, phone and personal financial records were seized during the search of his office at Rockefeller Center, this person tells the Post.
The raid came after federal prosecutors obtained a search warrant following a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, according to Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, reports the Times. Ryan called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary,” according to the report.
“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,” Ryan told the Times. A spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District declined to comment to PEOPLE.
“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.” Ryan and Cohen did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels
The New York Times reports that the search does not appear to be directly related to Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.
Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, said in a Tweet regarding the raid: “An enormous amount of misplaced faith has been placed on MC’s shoulders IMO. If he does not hold up, this could end very very badly for DJT and others.” MC and DJT appear to be referencing Cohen and Trump, respectively, by their initials.
Tweets by MichaelAvenattihttps://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
The payment to Daniels was made just days before the 2016 election, and she claims it was hush money to keep her quiet about the affair. Cohen has admitted making the payment, but denies it broke any campaign finance laws.
Trump denied for the first time last week knowing about the payment and told reporters: “You’ll …
Source:: Usa latest news – Culture