FBI Sought Records On 'Access Hollywood' Tape In Cohen Raid

Records related to Access Hollywood tape said to be focus of FBI raid on Trump's lawyer

The "Access Hollywood" tape from 2005 was released in 2016, weeks before the presidential election, and included audio of vulgar comments by Mr. Trump about women.

Prosecutors at the USA attorney's office in Manhattan are looking into whether Cohen's payoffs could have violated federal election laws, as they were issued during the campaign.

The search warrant also sought communications between then-candidate Trump and his associates regarding efforts to prevent disclosure of the tape, according to one of the sources.

The "Access Hollywood" tape came to light in October 2016 and threw Trump's campaign into a tailspin. Cohen never held an official role with the campaign, but he became deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the election. Khuzami, a former head of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, only joined the U.S. Attorney's office in January after he was brought in by Berman, who himself is still waiting to see if Trump will nominate him to have the job permanently. Though the raids on Cohen's office and hotel room were overseen by Khuzami, people close to Trump and Cohen regard the investigation as a surreptitious attempt by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, to pry into Trump's personal life by using other prosecutors as his proxy.

As the president's right-hand man, Cohen also has intimate knowledge of some of Trump's most closely guarded secrets related to his personal conduct and financial dealings.

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In addition to seeking documents connected to the tape, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents also searched for materials related to two payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels and the Playboy model Karen McDougal, according to The Times.

The warrant is the first indication that investigators suspect there was any effort to suppress the tape.

Trump has long expressed frustration toward the Russian Federation investigation and top law enforcement officials and reportedly believes they are not doing enough to shield him from Mueller. Cohen owns several medallions for New York City yellow cabs that allow them to pick up passengers on the street.

Public corruption prosecutors in the USA attorney's office in Manhattan are trying to determine, according to one person familiar with the investigation, if there was any fraud related to payments to Karen McDougal and Stormy Daniels. "No Collusion or Obstruction (other than I fight back), so now they do the Unthinkable, and RAID a lawyers office for information! BAD!"

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