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FBI raids Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s office

Posted at 3:21 PM, Apr 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-09 17:21:58-04

The FBI raided Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s office and seized materials and documents. What was taken from his office includes material related to his payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels, also known as Stephanie Clifford, the New York Times reports. 

A person familiar with the matter confirmed that law enforcement agents conducted searches Monday at his New York office and the New York residence of President Trump’s long-time attorney, seizing documents and other material. A court warrant authorizing the raid was obtained. It is unclear what investigation the raid stems from. 

Cohen’s attorney, Stephen Ryan, released a statement confirming the search, saying, "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.  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." According to a knowledgeable official, the information used in Monday’s raid originated with the special counsel but is a separate inquiry, CBS News’ Andres Triay reports. 

Ryan went on to call the U.S. attorney’s use of search warrants "completely inappropriate and unnecessary."

"It resulted in the unnecessary seizure of protected attorney client communications between a lawyer and his clients," his statement continued. "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."

The New York Times reported the raid of Cohen’s office Monday. 

The Times reported that federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after the special counsel in the Russia probe, Robert Mueller, sent a referral. The Times said that the search "does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave" to New York prosecutors.

Cohen has admitted paying Clifford — whose stage name is Stormy Daniels — $130,000 after she said she had an affair with President Trump over a decade ago. The Times also reported that Ryan said that Cohen has cooperated with authorities and turned over documents to congressional investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

The F.B.I. also took Cohen’s emails, tax documents and business records from his office, The Times reported, citing a person familiar with the search.