On Monday, April 9th, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the office of Michael Cohen, a longtime lawyer and personal friend of President Trump. Of the records that were seized, many included business records, emails, and documents related to the payment of porn star Stephanie Clifford.
The New York Times reported that federal prosecutors received a search warrant after obtaining a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Stephan Ryan, Cohen’s attorney called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” Ryan argues that the FBI had overstepped its bounds in gathering intel between Cohen and his clients.
President Trump commented on the raid, calling the act a “disgraceful situation” and “an attack on our country.” It is important to note that a white house official said Trump had known about the raid, before the news even broke.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the search extended further than just Cohen’s office; F.B.I. searched his home and Manhattan hotel room as well.
Cohen has worked in close quarters to President Trump for several years, knowing much of his business and personal matters. Cohan has also admitted he paid the pornographic film actress, who also goes by Stormy Daniels, $130,000 just a few weeks before the 2016 election. However, aboard Air Force One, the president said he had no idea his personal lawyer paid any amount of “hush money” to the actress. Daniels claims she had an affair with the president in 2006.
Originally from Long Island, Mr. Cohen began his career as an injury lawyer and taxi fleet manager. He joined the Trump Organization in 2006. NPR noted that Cohen was also the point of contact between the Trump Organization and government officials in Russia at a time when Trump wanted to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.
The Guardian also suggested that Mueller’s referral may of have sometime to do with his team’s progress uncovering more details regarding alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.