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Special counsel team met with Trump lawyers on day of Cohen raid

Special counsel team met with Trump lawyers on day of Cohen raid

"This was the red line of intrusion into personal financial matters".

Critics argue that Cohen might have also broken campaign finance law and that the $130,000 was, in essence, a campaign contribution that was aimed at helping Trump win and that was never disclosed.

Moscow has denied US intelligence agencies' findings that it meddled in the 2016 presidential campaign and sought to tilt the race in Trump's favor.

Things aren't so straightforward, however. As for Mr. Mueller himself, "we'll see what happens", Mr. Trump said.

"I think it would be suicide for the President to fire him", said Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley. Sen.

There have been few signs that Mueller was interested in investigating the payment, though.

The comments contrast with President Donald Trump who complained Monday that agents "broke into the office of one of my personal attorneys".

Monday's events renewed concerns that Trump could try to have Mueller removed, which critics have said would amount to interference in the investigation.

Reports on Tuesday indicated that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was looking for documents related to the payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels, the hush agreement between a media company and Playboy model Karen McDougal, and Cohen's taxi medallion business.

The New York Times, which first reported the news about the two women, said the search warrant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation raids also sought information about McDougal, who was paid $150,000 by the parent company of The National Enquirer tabloid, which then withheld a story about her relationship with Trump.

Paying off people with embarrassing stories to tell isn't, in itself, illegal. And the law enforcement action will nearly certainly amplify the public scrutiny on the payment to Daniels, who says she had sex with Trump in 2006. If Cohen made that payment himself or facilitated the payment from another individual or company, it could be deemed an illegal contribution to Trump's campaign.

And to the extent that Cohen, part of Trump's innermost circle, might have knowledge relevant to Mueller's inquiry, we can't rule out the possibility that his own legal troubles could induce him to co-operate in the Russian Federation probe.

Donald Trump will not attend the Summit of the Americas
For many in Latin America, Trump's decision to skip the summit deepened the view that Trump does not care about the region. The summit, which is to include heads of state and government from the Western Hemisphere, takes place April 13-14.

But it was clear the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were there for a reason, seizing electronic devices, phones and financial documents dating back to 2013.

The New York Times first reported prosecutors' interest in McDougal.

Also, it is worth noting that law enforcement doesn't raid lawyers' offices lightly. When the object of the application for a search warrant is an attorney who has worked for the President, it is fair to presume that the prosecutors presented the court with strong evidence of probable wrongdoing, or maybe even something stronger.

More: Who is Michael Cohen? He went on, "You can thus assume there was A LOT of evidence in that warrant application".

The attorney-client privilege Trump referred to is meant to encourage open communications between lawyers and their clients, so that lawyers can provide sound legal advice.

The New York Times, citing a source, said Federal Bureau of Investigation agents seized emails, tax documents and business records.

"They obviously had reason to believe they could not trust Cohen enough to subpoena him and wait for the response", said Jeffrey Cramer, a former United States attorney in Chicago who spent 12 years at the Department of Justice. Cohen is Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer. Like me, and like many other commentators, they could be subject to confirmation bias.

The stunning developments had Trump fuming Monday night.

More and more, this is looking like a mobster roll-up of the type that some of Mueller's team of ace prosecutors previously specialized in.

Stressing his loyalty, Cohen has steadfastly denied wrongdoing and defended Trump. He's pleaded not guilty. He was later charged with dozens of other financial crimes.

Now the feds are also putting the squeeze on Cohen, the trusted consigliere. No wonder Trump seems rattled.


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