FBI raids office of Trump’s longtime attorney Michael Cohen

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SueEllenRules!, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. SueEllenRules!

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    F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen; Trump Calls It ‘Disgraceful’
    The F.B.I. raided the office and hotel room of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, on Monday, seizing business records, emails and documents related to several topics, including payments to a pornographic film actress.

    Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating Mr. Cohen for possible bank fraud, and the documents identified in the warrant date back years, according to a person briefed on the search.

    The prosecutors obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but most likely resulted from information that he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.

    “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,” said Stephen Ryan, his lawyer. “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.”

    Mr. Trump reacted angrily to the raid. “It’s a disgraceful situation,” he told reporters at the White House before a meeting with military leaders. He added, “I have this witch hunt constantly going on.”

    The payments to the pornographic film actress, Stephanie Clifford, who is known as Stormy Daniels, are only one of many topics being investigated, according to a person briefed on the search. The F.B.I. also seized emails, tax documents and business records, the person said. Agents raided space Mr. Cohen uses in the Rockefeller Center office of the law firm Squire Patton Boggs, as well as a room Mr. Cohen is staying at the Loews Regency Hotel on Park Avenue while his apartment is under renovation, the person said.

    In order to obtain a search warrant, prosecutors must convince a federal judge that agents are likely to discover evidence of criminal activity.

    The searches are a significant intrusion by prosecutors into the dealings of one of Mr. Trump’s closest confidants, and they pose a dilemma for Mr. Trump. He has dismissed Mr. Mueller’s investigation as a “witch hunt,” but these warrants were obtained by an unrelated group of prosecutors. The searches required prior consultation with senior members of Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department.

    The searches open a new front for the Justice Department in its scrutiny of Mr. Trump and his associates: His longtime lawyer is being investigated in Manhattan; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is facing scrutiny by prosecutors in Brooklyn; his campaign chairman is under indictment; his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying; and a pair of former campaign aides are cooperating with Mr. Mueller. Mr. Mueller, meanwhile, wants to interview Mr. Trump about possible obstruction of justice.

    It is not clear what Mr. Mueller saw that made him refer the matter to other prosecutors. But the searches show that Mr. Mueller does not believe he has the authority to investigate all manners of allegations of everyone in Mr. Trump’s orbit. That is significant because Mr. Manafort’s lawyers have challenged Mr. Mueller’s mandate as overly broad.

    Mr. Cohen is a longtime lawyer and fixer who, in a decade at Mr. Trump’s side, has served as a reliable attack dog against real or perceived threats to Mr. Trump. His activities have been scrutinized as part of Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

    Mr. Cohen recently paid $130,000 to Ms. Clifford, who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump. Ms. Clifford has said that she was paid before the 2016 election to buy her silence. She is challenging a nondisclosure agreement she signed barring her from discussing the matter.

    The search is an aggressive move for the Justice Department, which normally relies on grand jury subpoenas to obtain records from people who are represented by lawyers and are cooperating with authorities. Search warrants are more often used in cases in which prosecutors do not trust people to preserve or turn over the records themselves. Justice Department rules require prosecutors to first consider less intrusive alternatives before seeking records from lawyers.

    The searches of Mr. Cohen’s documents harken to the pre-dawn F.B.I. raid of the home of Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. Those documents helped underpin Mr. Manafort’s indictment last fall on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges.

    Mr. Ryan said Mr. Cohen has cooperated with authorities and turned over thousands of documents to congressional investigators looking into Russian election meddling.

    The seized records include communications between Mr. Trump and Mr. Cohen, which would likely require a special team of agents to review because conversations between lawyers and clients are protected from scrutiny in most instances.

    Though Mr. Mueller’s team did not initiate the search, if prosecutors in Manhattan uncover information related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation they can share that information with Mr. Mueller’s team.

    A Long Island native, Mr. Cohen began his career as a personal injury lawyer and taxi fleet manager. He joined the Trump Organization in 2006. He attracted attention in the Russia investigation after emails showed that a business associate of Mr. Trump, Felix Sater, pitched Mr. Cohen on a lucrative real estate deal in Russia.

    The deal was supposed to be a Trump Tower in Moscow and Mr. Sater boasted to Mr. Cohen that the tower would get Mr. Trump elected president. “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Mr. Sater wrote. “I will get all of Putin’s team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.” But the emails obtained by The New York Times show no response from Mr. Cohen, who told congressional investigators that he regarded Mr. Sater’s talk as puffery.

    It is not clear how significant prosecutors view the payment to Ms. Clifford. Mr. Trump has denied knowing about the payment. And Mr. Cohen has said he paid Ms. Clifford out of his own money. Asked last week why Mr. Cohen made the payment, Mr. Trump replied: “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney, and you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.”

    F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen; Trump Calls It ‘Disgraceful’ - The New York Times https://apple.news/ArvJqqDakRYaemhl59mH8rA
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  2. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    One paragraph that explains just how bad Trumpworld’s legal trouble has gotten

    An increasing number of Trump’s closest associates are under serious investigation by the FBI. Some have already pleaded guilty.
    A single paragraph from a New York Times story published on Monday night managed to illustrate just how much legal trouble the President of the United States, his family, and some of his closest associates have found themselves in.

    The story, by the Times’s Matt Apuzzo, broke the news that the FBI had raided the home, hotel room, and office of Michael Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney. And as Apuzzo points out, the number of Trump associates facing significant legal trouble is growing:

    The searches open a new front for the Justice Department in its scrutiny of Mr. Trump and his associates: His longtime lawyer is being investigated in Manhattan; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is facing scrutiny by prosecutors in Brooklyn; his campaign chairman is under indictment; his former national security adviser has pleaded guilty to lying; and a pair of former campaign aides are cooperating with Mr. Mueller. Mr. Mueller, meanwhile, wants to interview Mr. Trump about possible obstruction of justice.
    — From “F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen; Trump Calls It ‘Disgraceful’” April 9, 2018
    • Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law, is under investigation by New York prosecutors and federal officials regarding the Kushners’ ownership of a costly skyscraper at 666 Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
    • Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign manager, has been indicted on money laundering and conspiracy charges stemming from his work in Ukraine.
    • Michael Flynn, the president’s one-time National Security Advisor, pled guilty in December to lying to the FBI about conversations with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak a year earlier.
    • Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates and former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have both pled guilty to making false statements to the FBI.
    Then there’s Cohen — who, according to the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig and Tom Hamburger, is “under federal investigation for possible bank fraud, wire fraud and campaign finance violations.” Those charges may have arisen from Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

    Trump, for his part, maintains that the investigation led by Mueller is nothing more than a “witch hunt.” It seems to be turning up an awful lot of witches (and warlocks!)

    One paragraph that explains just how bad Trumpworld’s legal trouble has gotten - Vox https://apple.news/AdaWLJOMYTcmf8xP6V65wYQ
     
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  3. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    What the government won't spend to chase nothing.
     
  4. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Yes, but we’re not talking about Hillary Clinton’s emails.
     
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  5. BD Calhoun

    BD Calhoun Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Well, it hasn't entirely been nothing. The charges against members of the Trump team over money laundering for Russian oligarchs is certainly valid, and some of them clearly perjured themselves. I also think it's likely that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice due to his attempts to shut the investigation down. As for the collusion charge that initiated Russia-gate, it does indeed appear to be bogus. Or, at the very least, they are incapable of proving it conclusively. Mueller even said that Trump isn't a criminal target at this point.

    Many of the people who are certain Trump is guilty of collusion and thus treason ignore the fact that the Clintons also benefited from deals with Russian oligarchs. And as for the poster who mentioned Hillary's emails, she wasn't charged because Comey claimed she lacked "criminal intent." In other words, the claim is that she didn't knowingly use her private email server to transmit classified information. At most, she was labeled "sloppy, careless, and negligent" for using a private server for government work because the potential to transmit classified information existed. Hillary supporters believe that was the right decision. I doubt they will come to the same conclusion if Trump isn't found guilty of colluding with Russia.

    It's all just partisan politics.
     
  6. SueEllenRules!

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    Trump Sought to Fire Mueller in December
    In early December, President Trump, furious over news reports about a new round of subpoenas from the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, told advisers in no uncertain terms that Mr. Mueller’s investigation had to be shut down.

    The president’s anger was fueled by reports that the subpoenas were for obtaining information about his business dealings with Deutsche Bank, according to interviews with eight White House officials, people close to the president and others familiar with the episode. To Mr. Trump, the subpoenas suggested that Mr. Mueller had expanded the investigation in a way that crossed the “red line” he had set last year in an interview with The New York Times.

    In the hours that followed Mr. Trump’s initial anger over the Deutsche Bank reports, his lawyers and advisers worked quickly to learn about the subpoenas, and ultimately were told by Mr. Mueller’s office that the reports were not accurate, leading the president to back down.

    Mr. Trump’s quick conclusion that the erroneous news reports warranted firing Mr. Mueller is also an insight into Mr. Trump’s state of mind about the special counsel. Despite assurances from leading Republicans like Speaker Paul D. Ryan that the president has not thought about firing Mr. Mueller, the December episode was the second time Mr. Trump is now known to have considered taking that step. The other instance was in June, when the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, threatened to quit unless Mr. Trump stopped trying to get him to fire Mr. Mueller.

    The December episode, which has never been publicly reported, has new resonance following the disclosure on Monday that F.B.I. agents had carried out search warrants at the office and hotel room of Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen. In that action, the Justice Department seems to have walked directly up to — if not crossed — Mr. Trump’s red line by examining something that seems unrelated to Russia.

    Among the documents the agents sought were some related to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump, and information related to the role of the publisher of The National Enquirer in silencing one of the women.

    After learning about the raid, the president again erupted in anger. He told reporters that federal authorities had “broke in to the office” and he called it “a disgraceful situation” and “a total witch hunt.”

    When Mr. Trump told Mr. McGahn in June to have Mr. Mueller fired, the president cited a series of conflict-of-interest issues that he insisted disqualified the special counsel from overseeing the investigation. Among the issues Mr. Trump cited was a dispute Mr. Mueller had with Mr. Trump’s Washington-area golf course years earlier. Mr. Trump told Mr. McGahn to tell Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general and Mr. Mueller’s superior, that the time for Mr. Mueller to go had come.

    Mr. McGahn believed those issues were not grounds for Mr. Mueller to be fired and refused to call the Justice Department.

    Over the next couple of days, Mr. Trump pestered Mr. McGahn about the firing, but Mr. McGahn would not tell Mr. Rosenstein. The badgering by the president got so bad that Mr. McGahn wrote a resignation letter and was prepared to quit. It was only after Mr. McGahn made it known to senior White House officials that he was going to resign that Mr. Trump backed down.

    The articles that provoked Mr. Trump’s anger in December — which were published by Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and Reuters — said one of Mr. Mueller’s subpoenas had targeted Mr. Trump’s and his family’s banking records at Deutsche Bank. Mr. Trump’s lawyers, who have studied Mr. Trump’s bank accounts, did not believe the articles were accurate because Mr. Trump did not have his money there.

    The lawyers were also able to learn that federal prosecutors in a different inquiry had issued a subpoena for entities connected to the family business of Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The news outlets later clarified the articles, saying that the subpoena to Deutsche Bank pertained to people affiliated with Mr. Trump, who was satisfied with the explanation and dropped his push to fire Mr. Mueller.

    The White House did not respond to an email seeking comment.

    Acutely conscious of the threat Mr. Mueller’s investigation poses, Mr. Trump has openly discussed ways to shut it down. Each time, he has been convinced by his lawyers and advisers that taking the step would only exacerbate his problems. In some cases, they have explained to Mr. Trump how anything that causes him to lose support from congressional Republicans could further imperil his presidency.

    But Mr. Trump’s statements to his advisers have been significant enough to attract attention from Mr. Mueller himself. Mr. Mueller’s investigators have interviewed current and former White House officials and have requested documents to understand whether these efforts show evidence the president is trying to obstruct the Justice Department’s investigation, according to two people briefed on the matter.

    Mr. Trump’s frustrations have tended to flare up in response to developments in the news, especially accounts of appearances of witnesses, whom Mr. Trump feels were unfairly and aggressively approached by investigators. They include his former communications director, Hope Hicks, and his former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

    The venting has usually been dismissed by his advisers, many of whom insist they have come to see the statements less as direct orders than as simply how the president talks, and that he often does not follow up on his outbursts.

    One former adviser said that people had become conditioned to wait until Mr. Trump had raised an issue at least three times before acting on it. The president’s diatribes about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Mr. Rosenstein and the existence of the special counsel have, for most of the White House aides, become a dependable part of the fabric of life working for this president.

    Trump Sought to Fire Mueller in December - The New York Times https://apple.news/Aob_5Cwh6RjacIwVSOOKTsA
     
  7. SueEllenRules!

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    New Trump Board Game!

     
  8. Snarky's Ghost

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    Trump will fire Mueller and then start a war.
     
  9. SueEllenRules!

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    Firing Mueller will start a war.
     
  10. SueEllenRules!

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    Trump would be barred from firing Mueller under bipartisan bill
    While the legislation is gaining momentum, Republican leaders in Congress continue to say legislation is not needed.

    WASHINGTON — The effort on Capitol Hill to protect special counsel Robert Mueller's job is gaining momentum.

    In the wake of President Donald Trump's comments this week suggesting he had not ruled out firing Mueller, two pairs of senators on Wednesday announced they had merged bipartisan legislation they introduced separately last August that would protect the special counsel.

    Their move comes even as Republican leaders on Capitol Hill continue to indicate they do not see the need for such a bill.

    Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., combined their bill with a measure proposed by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Chris Coons, D-Del., to produce the "Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act."

    The bill would ensure that only a senior official at the Department of Justice has the authority to fire the special counsel and the reason would have to be provided in writing. The measure would also give the special counsel 10 days to seek judicial review to examine their removal to determine if the dismissal "was for good cause." The legislation would ensure that documents, materials and staff working on the investigation are preserved.

    Under the Justice Department regulations that set up the office of special counsel, Mueller can be fired only by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the special counsel's investigation.

    Normally, according to NBC News Justice correspondent Pete Williams, this power rests with the attorney general, but Jeff Sessions has recused himself, so it falls to Rosenstein.

    The regulations say a special counsel can be fired "for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies."

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday afternoon that Trump "certainly believes he has the power" to fire Mueller.

    But there's no clear answer as to whether the president has that power, and there is apparently no formal opinion from the Justice Department concluding that the president has that authority.

    There's also a potential constitutional issue — namely that a president, as chief executive, has the authority to fire any employee in the executive branch. According to this argument, such a constitutional power would override any statute or regulation.

    Staff on the Senate Judiciary Committee are planning to review the merged bill to look for constitutional issues and they will decide whether it should move forward in the committee. The chairman of the panel, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, had asked the two pairs of senators to combine their bills, a spokesman for the committee told NBC News on Tuesday.

    Discussions about merging the legislation had been underway for months, Graham and Coons said Tuesday.

    Grassley said on Fox Business Network on Tuesday that he had "confidence" in the special counsel and that "it would be suicide for the president to fire Mueller." And Graham warned that getting rid of Mueller or Rosenstein "would be the beginning of the end of his presidency."

    Meanwhile, GOP leaders dismissed the possibility of Trump getting rid of Mueller and said legislation to protect the special counsel wasn't necessary.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reiterated Tuesday he hadn't "seen clear indication yet that we have to pass something to keep him from being removed, because I don't think that's going to happen."

    Bipartisan group of senators merge bills to protect special counsel Robert Mueller - NBC News https://apple.news/AbeikUD4FTmi0gjkQLFQIkg
     
  11. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    I know most of you are waiting. Hoping the President will be lead out of the White House in handcuffs. I am afraid you will be waiting the rest of your lives.
     
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  12. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    Good things come to those who wait.

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  13. SueEllenRules!

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  14. SueEllenRules!

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    The Daily Show: FBI raids Cohen’s office and Trump cries ‘witch hunt’

     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  15. BD Calhoun

    BD Calhoun Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    I loathe Trump, but I have no delusions that he will be imprisoned. The initial charge of collusion turned out to be so elusive that they've now focused on financial crimes and perjury.

    That said, the firings, resignations, and indictments of members of the Trump team reflect poorly on the administration. It's clearly an administration in chaos, which hurts Trump's chances of being reelected. Of course, if the Democrats choose a corporatist war monger over a progressive yet again, anything is possible. Dems tend to be their own worst enemy.
     
  16. SueEllenRules!

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    Trump condemns ‘disgraceful’ raid

     
  17. SueEllenRules!

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    Trump Wants to Fire Robert Mueller
    Apparently, Donald Trump has already tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller twice, but on both occasions advisers were able to convince him to back off. Firing the person who is leading an investigation of you is something members of both parties agree would be a big mistake. So much so that today, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced a bill that would protect Special Counsel like Robert Mueller from Donald Trump. But here's the thing - Trump isn't listening to Senators. What he's listening to is this.

     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
  18. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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    You make good points but it is mostly projection. Hard left people are dying to see Trump in jail and it is just never going to happen. Hillary somehow managed to walk so everything has become a pandering show for each tribe lusting for something to happen that never does. Just false projective news stories for the gullible.
     
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  19. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I'm perfectly content to let Mueller determine what's 'projection' and what's not.

    Right or left, every American should be dying to see Trump in jail if he colluded with a hostile foreign power to win the election. It's called treason.

    Nixon thought he was above the law, too, but even the Saturday Night Massacre ultimately failed to prevent the humiliating resignation to avoid impeachment, removal from office, and federal prosecution for crimes related to Watergate (only dodging the latter thanks to Ford's pardon).

    Isn't it odd how they have to let you off the hook after not one, but multiple investigations fail to produce any evidence of a crime? :think:

    As if the Democratic tribe's lust remotely resembles that of the Republicans. :re: Hillary has been investigated up one side and down the other...Whitewatergate...Travelgate...Filegate...Benghazigate...Emailgate...and the list goes on...and on...and on...and on...and on... All of which were a colossal waste of time and money because none yielded a damn thing. And yet, Special Counsel Kenneth Starr was allowed to arrive at that conclusion on his own in the case of the first three, Congress in the case of Benghazi after a 2-year, $7 million investigation, and the FBI in the case of Emailgate after 2 investigations. So I don't feel the least bit bad about an investigation of a sleazeball like Trump that was initiated by one Republican (Rosenstein) and carried out by another Republican (Mueller) after he had the audacity to fire a third (former) Republican (FBI Director James Comey) because he wanted the Russia investigation stopped. B!tch made his bed. Now he's going to have to lie in it.

    Let's keep Fox News out of this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018
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  20. Mazzilli

    Mazzilli Soap Chat Member

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