Michael Cohen Raid Also Pursued Documents On Donald Trump’s ‘Access Hollywood’ Tape
The raids of Michael Cohen’s office, home and hotel room this week were initially believed to have been made simply to seek documents related to President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer’s payments to porn star Stormy Daniels and affairs the President had with other women.
Michael Cohen Raid, Access Hollywood Tape
However, the New York Times reported Wednesday that Monday’s raids by the FBI were also conducted with the intention of seizing records pertaining to the infamous Access Hollywood video. In the 2005 tape, Trump was heard making crude and offensive remarks about women and even openly confessing to committing sexual assault. The video surfaced weeks before the 2016 election.
The warrant for the search — which prosecutors reportedly obtained upon receiving a referral from Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia probe — reportedly also allowed access to emails and other records that showed any type of private communications between Trump and Cohen regarding settlements of the former’s extramarital affairs and other issues.
The Times also said that as part of the raid, agents combed through old records of Cohen’s personal and business transactions, dating all the way back to when he worked as a New York taxi fleet manager.
Trump lambasted the raid, calling it “disgraceful” and “an attack on our country.” Cohen’s lawyer said the search was “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”
The president also tweeted early Tuesday morning: “Attorney-client privilege is dead!”
However, several news outlets have explained that attorney-client privilege — a type of confidentiality agreement between lawyers and their clients — does not apply when there is sufficient evidence to believe the two people concerned may have worked together to commit a crime.
In addition to the $130,000 Cohen reportedly paid Daniels before the 2016 election to force her silence on a 2006 affair with Trump, the president’s lawyer also paid Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who also allegedly slept with Trump. The publisher of The National Enquirer is also believed to have played a role in forcing both women to stay quiet on their affairs.
Cohen has reportedly held a long relationship with David Pecker, the publisher of The National Enquirer, and Trump is also friends with Pecker.
The investigation into Cohen’s documents is being led by Robert S. Khuzami. Khuzami’s superior Geoffrey S. Berman, the interim U.S. attorney in Manhattan, has recused himself.
Many people close to Trump reportedly believe Mueller has played a significant role in the raid to delve into Trump and Cohen’s private lives.
This all comes as rumors have been swirling with regards to whether or not Trump will fire Mueller given the president’s frustration with the special counsel’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and collusion with Trump’s campaign.
Former CIA director Mike Pompeo is also meeting on Thursday with the Senate, who will decide whether or not to confirm him as the new Secretary of State.
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