Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Federal Bureau of Investigation raid was linked to 'Access Hollywood' tape

Federal Bureau of Investigation raid was linked to 'Access Hollywood' tape

But the fact that the agents were seeking documents related to the tape reveals a new front in the investigation into Mr. Cohen that is being led by the United States attorney's office in Manhattan.

The investigation of Cohen, which was referred by special counsel Robert Mueller III to the US attorney's office for the Southern District of NY, appears to be focused in part on the lawyer's involvement with payments made to two women who alleged affairs with Trump. Both Trump and the White House have denied the allegations.

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Sources who have seen the warrants told CBS News it appeared to them the real target of the raids was Mr. Trump.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents eventually seized Cohen's electronic devices, personal financial records, and attorney-client communications between him and Trump. The news agency said it was unclear whether Mueller's investigators have evidence that Cohen met with a prominent Russian, as the dossier claimed. Trump, a Republican, sent his own lawyer to a hastily arranged hearing before a federal judge in Manhattan to argue that some of the records and communications seized were confidential attorney-client communications and therefore were off-limits to investigators. Or, they said, the court could appoint a special master for that goal.

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Prosecutors are investigating whether Cohen engaged in bank fraud, wire fraud and violations of campaign finance law, as The Washington Post previously reported. And they help explain why Mr. Trump was furious about the raid.

Of Trump, McKay said: "His attorney-client privilege is no greater than any other person who seeks legal advice". At the time, Cohen was a top lawyer at the Trump Organization and not formally affiliated with the campaign. They also asked that certain documents related to the case remain sealed to protect the privacy rights of "innocent third parties" who would be subjected to a media circus if their names became public. Prosecutors said today their criminal probe is focused on Cohen's personal business dealings.

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The warrant itself also tracks very closely to information already known about efforts by Trump's team to suppress negative information about Stormy Daniels, a porn star who alleges a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006, and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who says she had an affair with Trump between 2006 and 2007, the source said.

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