Monday, 23 July, 2018

Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen under criminal investigation

Feds wanted ‘Access Hollywood’ tape evidence during Trump lawyer raid Modal Trigger Donald Trump and Michael Cohen Getty Images
Faye Gross | 15 April, 2018, 00:13

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation for his "business dealings" and has been a target of law enforcement for months, the Justice Department said on Friday.

The revelation comes amid a courtroom drama that unfolded Friday, as Cohen's attorneys and Trump's attorneys began a fight hours before with the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan over a massive raid of Cohen's records.

Cohen has not yet been charged with any crimes, but at this point it's a foregone conclusion. Sad!

Trump and Cohen's attorneys went to court Friday to try and block officials from accessing information that they claimed was protected by attorney-client privilege, The New York Times reports.

Wood directed that Cohen be present in court at the next hearing on Monday "so we don't need to have any more adjournments".

Prosecutors have been working with a grand jury to investigate Cohen for months, they write, and they have obtained secret warrants on his "multiple different email accounts". She ordered the lawyers - including Cohen - to return to court Monday with more details, including a list of Cohen's clients.

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she was paid US$130,000 by Cohen to keep quiet about a sexual encounter with Trump, and is fighting to lift the terms of the non-disclosure act, which she says was signed by Cohen but not by Trump.

The report adds that Cohen pleading the fifth in a criminal case could harm Trump in his legal issue with Daniels, as Cohen is Trump's key witness.

At the same time, Trump has found it hard to hire a new criminal lawyer to help him in the case, the Times reported.

Dogs Possibly Died In East Hampton Fire, Official Says
A fire that possibly killed three dogs and gutted a house in East Hampton has been ruled accidental, a fire official said Friday. While the fire isn't completely contained he says they will do their best to make sure no one's livelihood goes up in smoke.


Amid all this, the New York Times reported that President Trump gave Cohen a casual phone call to check in. Records related to Cohen's taxi medallion business were also sought. Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, argues that the court must first decide if there even is an agreement and has asked for limited discovery, including depositions of Trump and Cohen and production of certain documents, in order to prove there is not.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether any crimes were committed as part of an effort by Cohen to squelch damaging stories about Trump when he was a presidential candidate, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's personal lawyer and "fix-it" guy, is facing legal scrutiny - potentially for bank fraud and violation of campaign finance law.

US District Judge Kimba Wood put off making any decision until Monday at the earliest.

Both Trump and Moscow deny any wrongdoing.

Searches of lawyers' offices are rare but not unheard of, and prosecutors use what is called a separate "taint team" to review the material and exclude any documents that are covered by the attorney-client privilege.

Avenatti said he should be allowed to represent the interests of Daniels. They cited the President's own comments.

One source said Cohen played to Trump and some associates conversations that he had with political and media figures during the exploratory part of the campaign.

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