Federal Bureau of Investigation probing Michael Cohen's 'personal business dealings'

Frederick Owens
April 15, 2018

In the filing with a court in NY, prosecutors blacked out a section describing what laws they believe Cohen has broken, but they said the "crimes being investigated involve acts of concealment" and suspected fraud.

Prosecutors revealed the new details about the Michael Cohen investigation after his lawyer appeared in court seeking to temporarily bar prosecutors from reviewing materials that FBI agents seized in a search of Cohen's office, home and hotel room.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan made the filing after lawyers for Cohen and Trump asked a judge to block the Justice Department from reviewing records seized Monday in Federal Bureau of Investigation raids on Cohen's apartment, hotel room, office and safety deposit box.

Attorneys for Trump lawyer Michael Cohen want the court to order prosecutors to temporarily halt an examination of the material that was seized.

Prosecutors challenged Cohen's claims of attorney-client privilege.

Prosecutors say they've set up what's known as a "taint team" or "filter team" to review Cohen's documents so nothing they seized is used improperly or breaches client confidentiality. Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 before the election to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump. Her attorney said she could be in court Monday because she believes some of the seized documents may be related to her case. In a footnote in its filing, the prosecutors expressed doubt that any communications between Trump and Cohen regarding a payoff to Daniels before the election would be covered under attorney-client privilege. Prosecutors said the move is meant to ensure no documents are improperly used or breach client confidentiality.

The post restaurant is frequented by NY power players, but this was a moment when worlds collided, as Cohen is locked in a contentious legal, and media battle with Avenatti.

Federal Bureau of Investigation probing Michael Cohen's 'personal business dealings'

Earlier Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders declined to say whether Cohen was still Trump's personal attorney.

Trump and Cohen spoke over the phone on Friday, a source with knowledge of the matter confirmed to CNN.

Depending on what was said, the call could be problematic for both men, as defence lawyers often advise their clients not to talk to each other during investigations. On Saturday, Avenatti accused Cohen of orchestrating a Friday protest against Daniels in Florida and mocked the small turnout.

Stephen Ryan, an attorney for Cohen, said in a statement this week that the searches of Cohen's office and residences were unnecessary and that the materials seized are protected by the attorney-client privilege.

Mr. Steele's paymaster was Fusion GPS, which tried to use the dossier to destroy the Trump candidacy. Her client, the president, "as the privilege-holder, has an acute interest in this issue", she said. I mean, I am constantly amazed with each passing day of the lack of intelligence that has been demonstrated by this man, this attorney, Michael Cohen.

The judge in the suit had given Cohen until Friday evening to formally request the stay.

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