Unsealed Cohen raid documents show FBI sought warrant for emails in July 2017

Source: The Hill | March 19, 2019 | Morgan Chalfant

Prosecutors in Manhattan on Tuesday unsealed redacted copies of search warrants and other documents tied to last year’s FBI raid on former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s properties.

The documents include search warrants, warrant applications and supporting affidavits tied to raids on Cohen’s hotel room, home and office last April, as well as those underlying searches of Cohen’s email, cellphone location data and other electronic devices.

In total, prosecutors filed eight exhibits totaling 895 pages

According to one of the exhibits, FBI investigators sought and obtained warrants for Cohen’s electronic communications as far back as July 18, 2017, a month after special counsel was appointed to investigation Russian election interference and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow, and nearly a year before the raid was actually executed.

The documents have been redacted to obscure Cohen’s email address, phone numbers, apartment number and safety deposit box. The government also heavily redacted sections of the documents containing details about the campaign finance violations Cohen admitted to last August in order to protect its ongoing probe into payments made to women who claimed to have had affairs with President Trump before the 2016 election.

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The documents unsealed Tuesday confirm that federal prosecutors in New York began their investigation into Cohen for bank fraud and campaign finance violations on a referral from Mueller.

“In connection with an investigation then being conducted by the Office of the Special Counsel (‘SCO’), the FBI sought and obtained from the Honorable Beryl A. Howell, Chief United States District Judge for the District of Columbia, three search warrants for emails and other content information associated with two email accounts used by Cohen, and one search warrant for stored content associated with an iCloud account used by Cohen,” states the April 8, 2018, application for a warrant to search Cohen’s home, office, hotel room and two iPhones.

The document states that Mueller produced “non-privileged emails and other content information” to prosecutors in Manhattan on Feb. 8, 2018, after which the U.S. attorney’s  office in the Southern District of New York opened a probe into Cohen for “schemes” to defraud multiple banks and “to make an illegal campaign contribution in October 2016 to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

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