The FBI has raided the office of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney — Michael Cohen — and seized records related to payments made by the attorney to an adult film actress, The New York Times reported Monday.
Manhattan federal prosecutors obtained the search warrant to raid Cohen’s office thanks to a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
BREAKING: Attorney: Federal agents have seized documents from Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer.
— The Associated Press (@AP) April 9, 2018
According to The Times, the raid, which was carried out Monday, is not related to the Russia investigation.
Rather, it apparently has to do with a $130,000 payment made by Cohen to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film star who claims that more than a decade ago, she had an affair with Trump.
Cohen allegedly made the payment so that Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, wouldn’t go public with her claims during the presidential election.
But, as noted by the New York Daily News, if Trump was in any way involved with the payment, it’s possible he may have violated federal election laws.
However, Cohen has claimed that he made the payment out of his own pocket.
Cohen’s own lawyer, Stephen Ryan, confirmed that the raid had occurred.
“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 said in a statement.
“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,” the statement added.
However, Ryan also called the raid “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”
“It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients. These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath,” Ryan said, according to Vanity Fair.
The FBI isn’t just interested in the payment to Clifford.
“The payments to Ms. Clifford are only one of many topics being investigated,” The Times reported, citing a person briefed on the search.
The bureau “also seized emails, tax documents and business records,” the outlet continued.
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