FILE - In this March 6, 2019 file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former lawyer, returns to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington. Prosecutors are scheduled to publicly release documents on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 related to the search warrant that authorized last year’s FBI raids on Cohen’s home and office in New York. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

Records show FBI was probing Michael Cohen long before raid

The federal inquiry into Michael Cohen had been going on since July 2017

The FBI was investigating President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer for nearly a year before agents raided his home and office, documents released Tuesday show.

The search warrant, while heavily redacted, offered new details about the federal inquiry of Cohen’s business dealings and the FBI raids of his Manhattan home and office.

It shows the federal inquiry into Michael Cohen had been going on since July 2017 — far longer than had previously been known.

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, said the release of the search warrant “furthers his interest in continuing to co-operate and providing information and the truth about Donald Trump and the Trump organization to law enforcement and Congress.”

The FBI raided Cohen’s Manhattan home and office last April, marking the first public sign of a criminal investigation that has threatened Trump’s presidency and netted Cohen a three-year prison sentence for tax evasion and campaign-finance violations. The feds, who also scoured Cohen’s hotel room and safe deposit box, seized more than 4 million electronic and paper files in the searches, more than a dozen mobile devices and iPads, 20 external hard drives, flash drives and laptops.

Both Cohen and Trump cried foul over the raids, with Cohen’s attorney at the time calling them “completely inappropriate and unnecessary” and the president taking to Twitter to declare that “Attorney-client privilege is dead!”

READ MORE: Michael Cohen calls Trump ‘racist, ‘conman’ in testimony

A court-ordered review ultimately found only a fraction of the seized material to be privileged.

The raids on Cohen were triggered in part by a referral from special counsel Robert Mueller, who separately is looking into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Tuesday’s release of the search warrant came nearly six weeks after U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III partially granted a request by several media organizations, including The Associated Press, that the search warrant be made public due to the high public interest in the case.

The judge acknowledged prosecutors’ concerns that a wholesale release of the document “would jeopardize an ongoing investigation and prejudice the privacy rights of uncharged third parties,” a ruling that revealed prosecutors are still investigating Cohen’s illegal payments to two women to stay silent about alleged affairs with Trump.

The judge ordered prosecutors to redact Cohen’s personal information and details in the warrant that refer to ongoing investigations and several third-parties who have co-operated with the inquiry. But he authorized the release of details in the warrant that relate to Cohen’s tax evasion and false statements to financial institutions charges, along with Cohen’s conduct that did not result in criminal charges.

“At this stage, wholesale disclosure of the materials would reveal the scope and direction of the Government’s ongoing investigation,” Pauley wrote in a ruling last month.

Cohen pleaded guilty over the summer to failing to report more than $4 million in income to the IRS, making false statements to financial institutions and campaign-finance violations stemming from the hush-money payments he arranged for porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal. Cohen implicated Trump in his guilty plea, saying the president directed him to make the payments during his 2016 campaign.

Jim Mustian And Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Port Alberni students meet federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh at rally

Singh posts trending video to TikTok, says reaching youth on their level is important

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Hundreds come out to meet federal NDP leader at Port Alberni rally

Pipelines, a coalition government and reconciliation among topics Jagmeet Singh covers

Port Alberni receives provincial funding for food hub

Seafood processing hub will be operated by Port Alberni Port Authority

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read