Published: Sat, April 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

DOJ: Michael Cohen 'under criminal investigation'

DOJ: Michael Cohen 'under criminal investigation'

As his lawyers went to court in NY on Friday to try to block prosecutors from reading files that were seized from the personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, this week, Mr. Trump found himself increasingly isolated in mounting a response. Cohen, it seems, spent this glorious spring afternoon on a Manhattan sidewalk puffing a cigar with a bunch of his bros. Early Monday morning, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents carried out a raid on the home, offices and hotel room of the president's longtime personal counsel. Daniels opposes the request; her response to Friday evening's request is due by 6 p.m. PT Monday.

Photo Members of the media approached President Trump's personal attorney, Michael D. Cohen, in NY on Thursday.

"It's kind of like when you're boyfriend breaks up with you and then you put pictures on Instagram looking really happy, having champagne", Kirsten Powers joked.

Lawyers for both Cohen and the president told a NY federal judge that the material is protected under attorney- client privilege.

The report adds that Cohen pleading the fifth in a criminal case could harm Trump in his legal issue with Daniels, as Cohen is Trump's key witness.

Prosecutors also say that the president's own statement that he did not know Cohen paid Clifford may negate any claim of attorney-client privilege on that matter.

Cohen is seeking to stop the U.S. government from reviewing the documents.

The news that the corruption investigation in NY is seen by Trump's own advisers as a more imminent threat came as lawyers for Trump and Cohen sought to block investigators from going through records obtained on Monday in an FBI raid on Cohen's hotel room and office.

Cohen often recorded telephone conversations both before and during the 2016 presidential campaign that also could have been scooped up in the Federal Bureau of Investigation raid on his apartment, office and hotel room, sources told CNN. They said Cohen had actually done "little to no legal work, and that zero emails were exchanged with President Trump".

Cohen's attorneys have filed a temporary restraining order asking the court to stop federal prosecutors from using some of the records they seized. She argued that materials obtained from Cohen had to be handled carefully because some could relate to a sitting president. They appeared in court on Friday, as did three lawyers for Trump, who at this time is not a party in the case.

In forceful language, prosecutors struck back at claims by Trump and others that the Monday raids violated the attorney-client privilege between Trump and Cohen or amounted to an improper extension of the work of Mueller.

At a hearing on Friday, U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood told an attorney for Michael Cohen that his client needed to be there to help answer questions about his law practice.

The judge also heard a request from Michael Avenatti, Daniels' lawyer, to weigh in on the files because they likely involved her, and the judge consented. Mueller's team recently told Trump's lawyers that he is a subject of the investigation, but not a criminal target.

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