Published: Thu, April 12, 2018
Medicine | By Douglas Stevenson

A dramatic stunt matched by angry presidential rhetoric — The FBI raid

A dramatic stunt matched by angry presidential rhetoric — The FBI raid

At the same time, another team of agents raided Cohen's law office 12 blocks away, again taking documents and records reportedly related to the $130,000 payment Cohen has admitted making to Stormy Daniels.

The payments appear to be part of a pattern of Trump's self-described fixer trying to shield the businessman-turned-politician from embarrassing press by buying women's silence.

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 objective of influencing the election", said Trevor Potter, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, Business Insider reports. But that may be overstated, according to one of MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace's sources, who claims that Cohen not only won't take a bullet for the president, he's unlikely to go to jail for him either.

FILE - Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian meddling in the election and possible connection to the Trump campaign, at the Capitol in Washington, June 21, 2017.

The President has not formally agreed to sit for an interview with Mueller.

Twitter users who share the common Jewish moniker with Trump's attorney were simultaneously amused and abashed as news of their namesake's legal jeopardy broke around the net. Others say he's actively considering firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and paving the way for someone more malleable to rein in the Mueller probe. Rosenstein has repeatedly said that he has not seen any reason to dismiss Mueller.

But the extra layers of approval built in to authorizing a warrant for an attorney's office, and the fact that this investigation is now outside the umbrella of Mueller's probe, make it harder for Trump to cry foul, observers say. Rosenstein, as the acting attorney general supervising Mueller's work, has the responsibility of deciding whether to expand Mueller's mandate to include the new topic or to refer it to a USA attorney's office. Second, judges don't lightly grant prosecutors the authority to raid the office of an attorney.

She claims her and Trump had an affair in 2006 and the money was to keep her quiet.

In August 2016, McDougal signed a limited life-story rights agreement, selling American Media, Inc. exclusive rights to her story for $150,000.

FBI agents Monday raided Cohen's Manhattan office, home and hotel room as part of the investigation, seizing records about Cohen's clients and personal finances.

In his statement, Avenatti says he and Daniels "will fully cooperate with any search for the truth regarding the threats, cover-up and lies concerning the NDA and $130k payment". Cohen paid that money to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, as part of a nondisclosure agreement executed just days before the 2016 United States election. It is believed that Michael Cohen and perhaps the President by extension may have broken some laws related to these issues in the payment that apparently was made to Stormy Daniels. "It's a total witch-hunt", Trump said.

Cohen was interviewed for hours behind closed doors by two Congressional committees on the Russia links previous year, where he vehemently denied Trump or himself having any contacts with Russians during the election or knowledge of any collusion. "And I thanked them at the conclusion", Cohen said in a phone conversation on Tuesday with CNN. "But I will tell you that members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation that conducted the search and seizure were all extremely professional, courteous and respectful".

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