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Hearing related to Federal Bureau of Investigation raid at Trump lawyer's office is set

14 Avril 2018

After weeks of news about President Donald Trump's difficulties in securing new legal help, he was represented in Manhattan federal court by a new lawyer.

Sources tell ABC News President Donald Trump spoke Friday with his personal attorney Michael Cohen who, according to court documents, has been under criminal investigation for months, largely centered on his business dealings.

As Trump canceled plans to attend a summit of leaders in Peru, his friends rallied to his defense following the raids by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents on the Manhattan office and home of Cohen, his longtime personal attorney and confidant. Trump said Sessions "should have certainly let us know" he would step aside in the probe and we would have "put a different attorney general in". Mr. Cohen said of his relationship with Mr. Trump, "I am the fix-it guy".

And today, The New York Times is also reporting the Federal Bureau of Investigation was hunting for documents related to the payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal who claims she also had an affair with Trump.

Trump has called the raids a "witch hunt", "an attack on our country" and a violation of rules that ordinarily make lawyer client communications confidential. Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, allegedly had an affair with the president around the time his youngest son, Barron Trump, was born. "He's uniquely situated to have interesting paperwork about the President". In short, Mueller is outsourcing the work, protecting himself from some of the fallout, and will likely receive the same results as he would have searching through Cohen's documents himself.

Cornyn told reporters Tuesday, "I don't believe that's going to happen".

"You'll have to ask Michael Cohen", he said.

It is not yet clear which of these tangled lines the U.S. Attorney is pursuing, or what the relation of the raid to other areas that Mueller is looking at might be.

FILE - Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian meddling in the election and possible connection to the Trump campaign, at the Capitol in Washington, June 21, 2017.

Lindsey Graham said he didn't know the objective of Mueller's raid on Cohen, but added, "I just want to let Mr. Mueller do his job without any political interference".

He said the raid in NY marked a "whole new level of unfairness" by Mueller and his team.

The most striking parts of Trump's remarks, though, concerned what he might do about Mueller's investigation.

The FBI raided Cohen's office earlier this week, reportedly seeking documents related to payoffs he had orchestrated to women who claimed to have had affairs with Trump.

Shortly before the hearing, prosecutors provided Cohen's lawyers with a letter that has not yet been made public. They had to persuade a judge to issue that warrant, and they had to vault a high legal bar to do so, because raiding a lawyer's offices risks exposing privileged communications between attorney and clients. Only documents that are not protected by that privilege will be handed over to investigators.

The raid came in the aftermath of Cohen acknowledging using his own money to "facilitate" a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels days before the 2016 election. The parent company's chief executive, David Pecker, is a friend of Mr. Trump's.

Cohen has not been charged with anything.

Legal experts said Cohen's taped conversations would be viewed by prosecutors as highly valuable.

A group of 10 representatives evenly split between Republicans and Democrats said the report raised concerns that the Federal Bureau of Investigation officials didn't exhaust the agency's technical options "precisely because they wanted the suit against Apple to go forward".

Hearing related to Federal Bureau of Investigation raid at Trump lawyer's office is set