Why Special Counsel Mueller Might Be Interested In Trump's 'Access Hollywood' Tape

Why Special Counsel Mueller Might Be Interested In Trump's 'Access Hollywood' Tape

A search warrant used this week to raid the office and residences of President Donald Trump's attorney sought all his communications about a 2005 "Access Hollywood" tape that captured Trump boasting about grabbing women's body parts, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

There were no SWAT teams, no guns drawn. Cohen arranged the Daniels payment in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

It was Mueller's investigation that led federal prosecutors in NY to Cohen's doorsteps.

Agents raided the office of Trump's personal attorney Michael Cohen on Monday, seizing records on topics including a $130,000 payment made to porn actress Stormy Daniels.

This was a very rare move - to raid someone's personal lawyer, in this case, Trump's.

President Trump is not happy about the FBI's raid on the office of his personal attorney Michael Cohen.

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"We never printed a word about Trump without his approval", a former top editor at the company told The New Yorker.

The warrant indicates that federal prosecutors may be examining interactions Trump might have had with his longtime attorney about tamping down unflattering stories as he sought to win the White House.

The Access Hollywood tape became public a month before the election.

Still, Mr Cohen was able to fill certain political voids that no one else seemed able to, such as forming a so-called diversity coalition of African-American, Hispanic and Muslim supporters, and he also raised money for the campaign and later for Mr Trump's inaugural committee.

Michael Avenatti, Daniels' attorney, responded to the news on Twitter, saying "an enormous amount of misplaced faith has been placed" on Cohen's shoulders. "Michael is my attorney".

The agents may also scrutinise his claims that he found the money out of his own pocket without informing the president, who denies any affair.

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Investigators also searched for evidence of whether Cohen tried to suppress damaging information about Trump during the 2016 United States election, the report said.

Aside from that, we don't know the names of everyone who participated in securing this one; the New York Times first noted that the USA attorney in charge of the New York jurisdiction involved was Geoffrey Berman, who worked on Trump's campaign, though the paper reported in a subsequent piece, relying on an anonymous source, that Berman recused himself from the case.

Referring to the alleged recordings, Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor told the newspaper: "The significance is 9.5 to 10 on a 10-point scale".

McDougal has said she had a longer affair with him. "There was a real relationship there".

Cohen's statements to CNN and several other outlets were a stark deviation from that of his boss, President Trump, who called the raid "disgraceful" and an "attack on our country". Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein personally approved the raid, The New York Times reported.

Rosenstein then alerted the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of NY, which looked at the same material and decided they needed to act and quickly. Cohen is a street-wise New Yorker with a penchant for confrontation and a cultivated reputation as Trump's outside-the-courtroom problem-solver.

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