Trump fumes over FBI raid that targeted payments to women - aides

Saul Bowman
April 11, 2018

Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted his former campaign chairman. "This was the red line of intrusion into personal financial matters".

White House attorney Ty Cobb and White House Counsel Donald McGahn have repeatedly sought to dissuade Trump from firing Mueller and renewed their efforts after the raids, two USA officials familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

Under Justice Department regulations, Mueller must consult with Rosenstein when his investigators uncover new evidence that may fall outside his original mandate. A third-party team of investigators will likely be tasked to decide whether Cohen's messages with the president are protected or not. Rosenstein then determines whether to allow Mueller to proceed or to assign the matter to another USA attorney or another part of the Justice Department.

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

If Cohen acted on his own to pay Daniels, Super said, "then there's no attorney-client privilege, which may have made (the FBI) more comfortable doing this raid". Trump has said he didn't know about the payment.

Officials from the Southern District declined to comment on the recusal, which was first reported by ABC News. And that means Trump has more than Mueller and Russian Federation to worry about.

Former adult film actress Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) is cooperating with federal agents investigating a $130,000 payment she received from President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen, NBC News first reported Tuesday.

"Monday's raid was to seek records on the deal set up between ex-Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal and a company that reportedly paid her amid the 2016 presidential campaign cycle to keep her account from publication", CNN said.

In 2016, just before the election, Cohen made a $130,000 payment to Daniels for her discretion on an alleged sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006. The case, he added, "has ALWAYS been about the threats, cover-up and the lies that have been told to the American people". "These government tactics are also wrong because Mr. Cohen has cooperated completely with all government entities, including providing thousands of non-privileged documents to the Congress and sitting for depositions under oath".

After having turned over what he called a million pages of documents, Trump said the investigation is "now getting ridiculous".

MARIOTTI: We don't know for sure. But there are several reasons to believe that the investigation into Cohen is serious.

The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr Mueller's investigation, but most likely resulted from information that he had uncovered and given to prosecutors in NY.

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. Now, above and beyond that, this is an unusual and special warrant because this is a search warrant of an attorney's residence. He went on, "You can thus assume there was A LOT of evidence in that warrant application".

Mr Cohen is under suspicion of bank fraud and election finance violations, said The Washington Post.

Cohen, who has been described as Trump's "fixer", says he's not thrilled about what might come next.

It should be noted that Eisen, a former ethics lawyer in the Obama White House, and Bookbinder and Shaw, who both work at the public-interest group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, are all prominent critics of Trump.

In this case, George Papadopoulos, a foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign who met with people with links to the Kremlin, provided the low-level entry points. He also created a limited liability company in DE to transfer the money to the client-trust account of Daniels' former lawyer. While the investigators of Cohen's case don't work for Mueller, the two cases are clearly linked, and there would be nothing to prevent Cohen, in the interests of self-preservation, from eventually agreeing to coöperate with both the Southern District of NY and Mueller.

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