Raid on Trump's Lawyer Sought Records on 'Access Hollywood' Tape

President Trump's personal lawyer in Manhattan on Wednesday. Credit Seth Wenig  Associated Press

President Trump's personal lawyer in Manhattan on Wednesday. Credit Seth Wenig Associated Press

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation for his "business dealings" and has been a target of law enforcement for months, the Justice Department said on Friday. Cohen did not appear in court Friday morning and has not been charged with a crime.

Wood directed that Cohen be present in court at the next hearing on Monday "so we don't need to have any more adjournments". A brief they filed in response to Cohen's court action revealed that he'd been under investigation for months and that the FBI had searched multiple email accounts.

Cohen, President Trump's personal lawyer, in Manhattan on Wednesday.

One of Trump's attorneys, Joanna Hendon, argued in court on Friday for access to the materials, insisting that the president's legal team needs assurance that the matter involving Cohen is handled "scrupulously". "Beyond that, I don't have anything else to add", Sanders said.

Mr. Mueller's spokesman declined to comment.

In a footnote, the prosecutors wrote that although the investigation was referred to prosecutors in NY by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it was proceeding independently.

Jake Tapper addressed the Cohen chill-session on CNN Friday afternoon, noting he was "sitting outside his hotel, hanging out, not a care in the world, even though he is under criminal investigation". Cohen paid porn actress Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump before he became president, $130,000 of his own money in exchange for a nondisclosure agreement. Records related to Cohen's taxi medallion business were also sought. They were there to argue that they should get to review the documents seized from Cohen's office, apartment and hotel room this week before federal prosecutors do so.

Pressed later whether Cohen was still acting as Trump's attorney, Sanders demurred.

The precise nature of the criminal investigation on Cohen is not entirely clear, but it began following a referral from the Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is investigating potential collusion between Russian nationals and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.

Cohen's lawyers, for their part, have asked to review the material for themselves, a proposal which the Manhattan prosecutors are fighting.

"Although Cohen is an attorney, he also has several other business interests and sources of income".

"The viability of this prosecution, it has to be done right", Hendon told US District Judge Kimba Wood.

"Trump and Cohen both say that Cohen did not tell Trump about the Clifford arrangement", said McCarthy.

The Justice Department is asking for a so-called taint team to vet the material seized in the raids Monday, as is standard process.

Stephen Ryan, a lawyer for Mr. Cohen, referred to his earlier description of the raid as "completely inappropriate and unnecessary".

"The attorney-client privilege could't at an identical time be utilised like a sword (and) like a shield", McKay advised Wood.

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.

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