Judge to Release Info on FBI Raid of Trump's Former Lawyer

Prosecutors Ordered to Make Public Redacted Cohen Raid Documents

Hundreds of pages of court records made public Tuesday revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller quickly zeroed in on Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, in the early stages of his Russian Federation probe.

In them, officials in the Southern District of NY laid out their suspicions about Cohen, how they planned to investigate and why those warrants were needed.

The FBI was seeking information about payments Cohen made to two alleged Trump mistresses shortly before the election. More extensive files from the special counsel investigation remain under seal in Washington.

The filings partially unsealed and released Tuesday shows that Mueller was eyeing Cohen for a crime that has not been previously disclosed: Acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

They were also initially interested in money that was flowing into Cohen's bank accounts from consulting contracts he signed after Trump got elected. Cohen was never charged with such a crime.

The newly released documents indicate authorities continue to probe campaign violations connected to those hush money payments.

Also of interest in the documents: almost 20 pages devoted to Cohen's "illegal campaign contribution scheme", which were entirely redacted by the judge.

Where that investigation is headed is unclear.

■ A little background: Cohen was once a Trump loyalist who styled himself as Trump's "fixer" and said he would have taken a bullet for Trump. Trump has denied having an affair with Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford.

Romney responds to Trump’s disparaging of the late Sen. McCain
McCain shocked some by indirectly condemning Trump at her father's funeral, noting in her remarks that "America was always great". Among the tweets was a claim that McCain had finished "last in his class" at the US Naval Academy.

Mueller's justification for those warrants were "several different courses of conduct by Cohen, including, among other things, false statements to financial institutions relating to the goal of an account he opened in the name of Essential Consultants LLC and the nature of funds flowing into that account, and activities undertaken by Cohen on behalf of certain foreign persons or foreign entities without having registered as a foreign agent", an FBI investigator wrote to a judge, piggybacking on Mueller's pursuit.

Information related to the ongoing Russian Federation probe was also redacted, which is something Cohen himself declined to speak about during a congressional testimony in February. After pleading guilty to several violations he has been sentenced to three years in prison.

FILE PHOTO: Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney of U.S. President Donald Trump, talks to reporters as he departs after testifying before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 6, 2019.

Cohen began cooperating with federal investigators soon after the April 2018 raids on his office and hotel room.

They located a hotel room in New York's Loews Regency Hotel where Cohen was staying by using a device known as a Triggerfish.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents also scoured Cohen's hotel room and safe deposit box and seized more than 4 million electronic and paper files, more than a dozen mobile devices and iPads, 20 external hard drives, flash drives and laptops. Cohen has implicated the president in these crimes. A federal judge appointed an outside lawyer to review the material before Cohen's prosecutors to exclude any material that was covered by lawyer-client privilege or otherwise should not be shared with investigators.

The order by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III came after nine news organizations sought the release of the information.

The government had also argued disclosure would infringe on the privacy rights of uncharged third parties, according to the New York Post.

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