Published: Fri, April 13, 2018
People | By Neil Grant

How Michael Cohen, Trump's 'image protector,' landed in the president's inner circle

How Michael Cohen, Trump's 'image protector,' landed in the president's inner circle

Those who believe such a conspiracy exists pointed, as further evidence, to the bombshell news this week that the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the offices and temporary home of Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

It's not clear what information Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney and fixer, would have on the tape, which featured Trump making vulgar comments about groping women.

The broad request also sought Cohen's communications with Trump and campaign surrogates about "potential sources of negative publicity" in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.

The possible crimes listed in the search warrants that have been leaked to the press are those pertaining to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels, the former Playboy model Karen McDougal and also Cohen's lucrative and shady NY taxi business.

With respect to the payment to Ms. Daniels, Cohen has said that he paid the money out of his own pocket out of friendship to the President - which he characterized as a "private transaction" - without Trump's knowledge.

Reports indicate that Federal Bureau of Investigation officials wanted documentation related to the hush money paid to two women who claim to have had affairs with the married Trump, and possibly much more.

Daniels says she had sex with Trump in 2006. The New York Times first reported the connection to the tape.

"I don't think there is any indication that president Trump is going to fire Mr. Mueller".

Furious over news reports about a new round of subpoenas from Mueller's office, the Times reported, Trump told advisers in December that Mueller's investigation had to be shut down. Moreover, if the communications between Trump and Cohen were in furtherance of committing a fraudulent act or other crime, the well-recognized crime fraud exception to the attorney-privilege might apply, in which case the privilege would be set aside.

"I am unhappy to have my personal residence and office raided". Sources who've seen the warrants say it appeared to them that the real target of the raids was President Trump.

Federal agents raided Mr. Cohen's office in Manhattan on Monday, an aggressive move authorized by a judge and approved by top officials at the U.S. Justice Department. Cohen never held an official role with the campaign, but he became deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the election. The payment was made using a newly-formed DE corporation called Essential Consultants LLC, and an attorney for Daniels now claims she is not bound to silence because the contract was not signed by Trump. The committee is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

While Trump allies are calling for the president to fire Rosenstein over his handling of the special counsel investigation into Russian Federation, the Justice Department official attended a normal meeting at the White House on document production without incident, administration officials said.

The investigation is being run by Mr Robert Khuzami, a veteran federal prosecutor whose boss, Mr Geoffrey Berman, is the interim U.S. attorney for the Southern District of NY.

Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor who practices law in Chicago, said Trump was "mistaken" in his assessment Tuesday that attorney-client privilege is dead. There were no other women beyond Daniels and McDougal named in the warrant in regard to the President, the source said. And because the payment was likely an in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign, it could constitute a willful violation of campaign contribution limits, a separate felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

Like this: