FBI agents raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen on Monday at the request of special counsel Robert Mueller, Cohen’s attorney said.
The New York Times reported that the raid collected documents related to Cohen’s October 2016 payment of $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump.
Cohen claims he paid Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, without Trump’s knowledge, amid questions about whether the payoff is an illegal campaign contribution.
Lawyer Stephen Ryan, who is representing Cohen, called the raid “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”
“Today the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York executed a series of search warrants and seized the privileged communications between my client, Michael Cohen, and his clients,” Ryan said in a statement. “I have been advised by federal prosecutors that the New York action is, in part, a referral by the Office of Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”
Michael Avenatti, an attorney for Daniels, said he wasn’t surprised by the raid.
“As I predicted last week on CNN and MSNBC, Mr. Cohen has been placed in the crosshairs by Mr. Trump,” Avenatti said. “He has been set-up to take the fall. An enormous amount of misplaced faith has been placed on his shoulders and I do not believe he has the mettle to withstand it. If I am correct, this could end very, very badly for Mr. Trump and others.”
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