Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly sought records on 'Access Hollywood' tape in Michael Cohen raid

FBI agents raided the New York offices of President Trump's longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen

According to The New York Times, investigators are searching for records connected to payments to two women who say they had affairs with Mr. Trump: Ms. Daniels and Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who was paid US$150,000 months before the presidential election by the company that owns the National Enquirer tabloid.

The search warrant used in the Cohen raid also included requests for information on Cohen's communications with Trump about "potential sources of negative publicity" before the 2016 election, including an "Access Hollywood" tape that captured Trump making vulgar comments about women, The Post has reported.

Because of the sensitive interests involved and the inherent risks of damage to legitimate attorney-client relationships, the Department of Justice has established certain heightened procedures ("Searches of Premises of Subject Attorneys") that must be complied with before seeking a warrant to search an attorney's premises.

It is unknown if Cohen recorded conversations between himself and Trump, the newspaper said.

Before landing the coveted legal job, Berman worked for the law firm Greenberg Traurig in New York and New Jersey, where Trump confidant and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani is also employed.

He went on to say he is confident Cohen will "fold like a cheap deck of cards".

Previous reports said Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in the search had sought records on payments to Stormy Daniels and to another woman who claimed she had an affair with Trump.

"This is about getting Donald Trump at all costs even if it means stretching the boundaries of exceptions to attorney-client privilege", said former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo.


"The decision by the U.S. Attorney's Office in NY to conduct their investigation using search warrants is completely inappropriate and unnecessary", Ryan said in a statement. A reporter at Tuesday's White House press briefing asked if Trump was considering stepping down, prompting a snap reply from Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that the question was "ridiculous". On Monday, Trump called Mueller's investigation "an attack on our country" and suggested he was considering firing the special counsel.

Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump's long-time personal attorney, waits in the lobby of Trump Tower in NY on January 6, 2017.

Under Justice Department regulations, only Rosenstein, who oversees the Russian Federation investigation, can fire Mueller.

Federal agents reportedly seized documents from Cohen related to several issues, including his $130,000 payment to adult-film star Stormy Daniels in the weeks leading up to the 2016 presidential election. His attorney, Stephen Ryan, declined to comment. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has similarly shown little interest, saying Tuesday he doesn't think Mueller will be fired.

Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, has sued Cohen to be released from a nondisclosure agreement over an alleged one-night stand with Trump in 2006.

CNN has also learned that the search warrant sought records relating to Cohen's personal finances and his net worth. Essential Consultants had allegedly been set up for the goal of paying $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair between her and Trump several years ago.

If there's anybody who knows a lot about Trump's legal and business orbit, it's his personal lawyer, known for acting more in the capacity as a fixer, dealmaker and media attack dog for Trump than as legal counsel.

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