Tags: Trump Administration | hearing | trump | michael cohen | fbi | raid

Prosecutors Probing 'Personal Business Dealings' of Trump Lawyer

Image: Prosecutors Probing 'Personal Business Dealings' of Trump Lawyer
Michael Cohen (AP)

Friday, 13 April 2018 02:40 PM

Federal prosecutors said in court Friday that their investigation of President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen focuses on his "personal business dealings."

Earlier, lawyers for Trump and Cohen, told U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan that they believe some of the documents and devices seized from Cohen during an FBI raid are protected by attorney-client privilege, and they want a chance to review the material before prosecutors get to examine them.

Prosecutors and the attorneys for Cohen and Trump appeared before .

Cohen's attorneys say they want a chance to review documents seized in the raid on Monday and specify items they believe aren't relevant to the investigation.

An attorney for the president, Joanna Hendon, told the judge that Trump has "an acute interest in this matter."

The hearing was ongoing.

Federal agents seized records on a variety of subjects in the raid on Monday, including payments that were made in 2016 to women who might have damaging information about Trump.

FBI and Justice Department officials in Washington and New York have refused to discuss the case publicly or say what crimes they are investigating, but people familiar with the investigation have told The Associated Press the search warrant used in the raids sought bank records, business records on Cohen's dealing in the taxi industry, Cohen's communications with the Trump campaign and information on payments made to a former Playboy model and a porn actress who say they had affairs with Trump.

Those people spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the confidential details.

It was unclear how much prosecutors might have to reveal about the investigation in open court in the hearing scheduled for Friday.

Cohen has denied wrongdoing. Cohen's lawyer, Stephen Ryan, declined to comment to The Associated Press on Friday morning.

Trump has called the raids a "witch hunt," ''an attack on our country," and a violation of rules that ordinarily make attorney client communications confidential.

Those confidentiality rules can be set aside under certain circumstances if investigators have evidence that a crime has been committed.

Public corruption prosecutors in the U.S. 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, a former Playmate, and Stephanie Clifford, who performs under the name Stormy Daniels.

McDougal was paid $150,000 in the summer of 2016 by the parent company of the National Enquirer under an agreement that gave it the exclusive rights to her story, which it never published. Cohen said he paid Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence about her claim to have had a one-night-stand with Trump.

The White House has consistently said Trump denies either affair.

© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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Federal prosecutors said in court Friday that their investigation of President Donald Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen focuses on his "personal business dealings."
hearing, trump, michael cohen, fbi, raid
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2018-40-13
Friday, 13 April 2018 02:40 PM
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