Trump's personal attorney tells ABC News FBI raids were 'respectful' and 'courteous'

Sergio Conner
Апреля 15, 2018

According to a statement that Cohen's lawyer gave to the press, the U.S. Attorney in question, Geoffrey Berman, had acted in response to a referral from Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating possible Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. A military strike would mark Trump's second retaliatory strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad's government at a time when Trump is seeking to reduce the USA footprint in Syria. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had sex with Trump in 2006. Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from oversight of the investigation, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would then presumably decide which investigative team moves forward.

Cohen did not immediately respond to calls and emails from USA TODAY.

Daniels got $US130,000 from Cohen in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement concerning her relationship with Trump. Mueller has already used the threat of criminal prosecution as leverage to flip Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, and others who are now cooperating with the investigation.

U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 13, 2018.

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Daniels said she had a 2006 tryst with Trump when he was a reality TV star

Given that the case against Cohen appears to lie with Southern District prosecutors, however, it is likely that firing Mueller would have little effect on any prosecutions developed from evidence seized Monday. I think the public is a close second.

The White House official said it is unclear if Trump has spoken to Cohen. "I've wanted to keep it down", he said, without quite explaining how you keep a man like Mueller "down". It was, he said, "a whole new level of unfairness".

Andrew Hall, who represented former Nixon adviser John Ehrlichman during the Watergate scandal, offered a succinct summary of the distinction: "If a client goes to a lawyer and confesses, "I committed a crime, I stole money, I shot somebody, I killed somebody"-whatever the crime is, it doesn't matter".

The "Morning Joe" news program on the cable TV channel MSNBC on Wednesday began with a series of alternate shots of Nixon denouncing the Watergate investigation as a witch hunt with similar statements by Trump on the Mueller probe, implying that Trump's days in office were similarly numbered. The seizure of records should have followed applicable procedures for searching an attorney's office records to protect legitimate attorney-client privilege. There's a lot of speculation and anonymously sourced reporting that it had to do with bank fraud, or the payment to Stormy Daniels, or something else.

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Cohen admitted in February that he had facilitated a payment to Daniels, although he has denied the validity of the alleged affair. Nervous White House aides expressed new fears about the president's unpredictability in the face of the Cohen raid, which he viewed as an assault on a longtime defender and a sign that Mueller's probe into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign was "going too far".

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.

The special counsel's office and Justice Department declined to comment on the searches Monday.

Federal Bureau of Investigation special agents, working under the authority of the USA attorney in Manhattan, seized records relating to Karen McDougal, the former Playmate who said she had a 10-month affair with Trump, and Stephanie Clifford, the porn star known as Stormy Daniels, who said she had sex with Trump just once, according to the person. Assuming the reports are accurate that this was a referral from Mueller and did not originate with the U.S. Attorney's Office, it means that Mueller subjected Cohen to scrutiny and found something.

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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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