Who is Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer?

12 April, 2018, 07:23 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • In raid on Trump lawyer, feds sought records from deals with women, media and campaign: Sources

On top of that, prosecutors had to obtain approval from the office of the USA attorney for the southern district of NY, which is led by a Trump appointee.

The move to meet with a candidate for a top federal prosecutor position is highly unusual, and Berman's perch in Manhattan is considered especially sensitive given its jurisdiction over Trump Tower and other businesses and associates of the President, like Cohen.

At this point, dismissing Mueller wouldn't end the investigations encircling the President anyway.

If Trump tries to scupper the probe, it could set in motion a series of events that eventually threaten his presidency.

Cohen has said he took out a personal line of credit on his home to pay Daniels days before the 2016 election and without Trump's knowledge.

Federal prosecutors in nyc are requesting the Trump business to turnover documents associated with the $130,000 payment made by President Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen to adult movie star Stormy Daniels, a disclosure which includes daily soon after federal agents raided Cohen's home and office.

Several former officials at the Federal Election Commission have said the payment could have violated campaign finance laws because it may amount to an unreported campaign donation.

Legal experts agree this is a major development.

The payment was made less than two weeks before the 2016 election, so if Cohen is claiming he made the payment on behalf of Trump, that could be a "coordinated, illegal, in-kind contribution by Cohen for the goal of influencing the election", said Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, Business Insider reports. "Ever since I have been working with Donald Trump, Michael Cohen has been around".

When asked in 2011 by ABC News to describe his role with Trump, Cohen said: "It means that if somebody does something Mr. Trump doesn't like, I do everything in my power to resolve it to Mr. Trump's benefit".

Search warrants are a fairly standard, though aggressive, law enforcement tool and are often sought in cases where authorities are concerned someone may hide or withhold evidence. Some see Trump's lawyer as overzealous bully. "It can not be discovered", he said. So that could put any evidence of those crimes beyond the attorney-client privilege. Documents are not privileged simply because they passed through an attorney's hands. Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor in IL, elucidated the difficulty of differentiating between the two.

"If Mueller's team thought that there was any risk that Manafort would hide or destroy documents, that would be a strong reason to proceed with a search warrant", he added.

Cohen's lawyer, Stephen M. Ryan, said on Monday that prosecutors seized communications between Cohen and his clients based in part on a referral by Mueller. Next, a "taint team" will have to determine what communications between the president and his attorney might fall into this category. "If I was Trump, that would be my biggest concern".

He said "Attorney-client privilege is dead!" and called the special-counsel investigation "A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!".

Ryan also said in the statement that he had "been advised by federal prosecutors that the NY action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller". Sometimes their investigations don't result in any substantive charges.

"The S.D.N.Y.is tooled up to execute such raids, whereas the special counsel's office sitting in D.C. would face logistical challenges in trying to do it themselves", Katyal said.

But Cohen said he was unhappy to have his office and residences raided, and he is anxious about the federal investigation. If the latter is true, Wisenberg noted, "Then it is no longer part of Mueller's case".

If Trump wields the ax against Rosenstein and then goes after Mueller, he would not only ignite a political storm but he also would raise doubts about the capacity of the USA system of governance itself to hold a strongman President in check.



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